Alasitas is Bolivia’s festival of small-wishes and is annually held in different towns at different times (La Paz = January 24). The festival has grown into a mixture of Catholicism with age-old Andes traditions. Whereas the Franciscans focus on the Virgin and the yatiris – (local shamans) focus on the Andean God Ekeko, the average Bolivian cares about both and has no problem combining the two.
Devotees buy miniature versions of their dreams. They get them blessed by a priest and offer them to Ekeko, the chubby God of Plenty, hoping their dreams will come true. In case devotees want wealth, they prefer buying perfectly copied miniature dollar and euro notes over the local currency (bolivianos).
El Mercado de las Brujas, the Witches Market, is the place to go to buy these offerings. Stalls and shops are packed with miniature stuff such as cars, cameras, toys, but also degrees or little plastic babies.
Note that according to tradition you shouldn’t buy your own Ekeko; he should be presented to you as a gift in order for the offerings to have effect.
“Feria de las Alasitas” by Luma Poletti Dutra. CC2