Uruguayan Carnival

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Uruguayan Carnival is a popular festival that takes place every year in Uruguay from mid January to late February. It is related to candombe, Murga and tablados. It has evolved into a dance parade in which different comparsas play the drums and dance to the music at "Desfile Innaugural del Carnaval" and Llamadas parade. The biggest carnival celebrations are in the capital Montevideo and can last up to 40 days and it involves a series of cultural events such as dance parades in the streets, street stages called "tablados" and an artistic contest in the "Teatro de Verano" (Summer Theatre) in Montevideo. [1] Carnival in Montevideo is very different to carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. [2]

candombe drums



The background to the Uruguayan Carnival come in Europe, where in different contexts, the celebration of the harvest or a religious festival, served as a space for meeting people, creating a space for individual and collective freedom. Already on Uruguayan soil, in colonial times, the days of Carnival and Christmas and New Year, Montevideans black slaves were covered with bright robes and gaudy and went outside to go to the city walls, whose feet were allowed to sing their songs and perform dances. Some common practices carnival in Europe, bran and flour shed, shed water syringes, throw eggs, oranges, or other objects were imported into Uruguay. The importance of some of these practices by the first inhabitants of the city of Montevideo led to the carnival celebrations. According to Juan Carlos pattern, it is possible that in 1860, when two sources called "Wells of the King", the "van guerrillas" were disseminated and conform the first carnival practices were built.

Carnival in Montevideo[edit]

Comparsa at Llamadas parade in 1999

Sociedades de Negros y Lubolos[edit]

In Spain, las Sociedades de Negros y Lubolos, also called comparsas are a group of persons who sing and dance candombe music. The word lubolos makes reference to the white people in blackface that dresses as black people in the past in order to take part in the dance parades during colonial times in Spain. It consists of a group of dancers, a group of drummers named Cuerda de tambores and special characters such as La Mama Vieja, El escobero y El Gramillero [3]


Murga is a theatrical-musical genre that consists of a chorus of 14 to 17 people with murga drums. They sings songs and do some acting in between with impersonators and a mockery of events that criticizes politicians and society. People in murgas have their faces painted and usually are in bright outfits. Lyrical content is based on a particular theme, chosen by the group, which serves to provide commentary on events in Uruguay or elsewhere over the preceding year. Consequently, murga lends itself well to being used as a form of popular resistance. For example, during the dictatorship in Uruguay in the 1970s, groups like Araca La Cana became known for their left-wing tendencies, subversive commentary and oppositional stance.[4]

Uruguayan murga


It is a hilarious gender based on fiction scripts and it involves some singing, dance and recitations.


They create funny situations called parodies, based on a well-known novel or film or even some famous character in history.


They are a group of people dancing and singing pop music with different lyrics about human nature and personal problems.

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