🇻🇪 Diablos of Yare Carnival

Dancing Devils of Yare is one of the most popular Venezuelan religious festivals – It’s celebrated in San Francisco de Yare.


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    When will the Dancing Devils of Corpus Christi 2021 be held?

    Dancing Devils of Yare is Every Corpus Christi on 3rd of July. Dancing Devils take to the streets to perform their ritual dance, where they will worship the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

    Dancing Devils of Yare

    diablos de yare

    Dancing Devils of Yare is one of the most popular Venezuelan religious festivals – It’s celebrated in San Francisco de Yare, in the state of Miranda, Venezuela, on the day of Corpus Christi. The festival has 300 years of history, becoming one of the most important symbols of Venezuelan tradition.

    The triumph of good over evil, this is the message that every year the Dancing Devils of Corpus Christi remind all their spectators, through a celebration that has been elaborated in its history with influences of the indigenous, Spanish and African tradition. Let’s learn more about this festivity, which despite being celebrated in other states, stands out fundamentally in Yare.

    How is Dancing Devils of Yare celebrated?

    diablos de yare

    The celebration is held two days. The celebration starts Wednesday with a wake where fulías (a native music style) are played, décimas (native form of poetry) are recited and rosaries and other prayers are recited until dawn. The next day the devoted, disguised as devils, perform dances around the main town square. They also parade through the streets, dressed in their red costumes and masks, dancing to the rhythm of corríos (octosyllabic musical poems).

    The dancing devils wear red shirts, trousers and stockings, a mask depicting a devil, and canvas sandals. They carry a cross made out of blessed palm leaves, a rosary, and a medallion with the image of Christ (that can be substituted by another Christian religious image). They also carry in one hand a devil-shaped maraca, and in the other, a whip. When the night goes by outside the church, different rituals and chants can be appreciated -waiting for the dawn-. Hundreds of people gather to watch the devils.

    The entire performance represents the victory of Good over Evil, the devils’ masks fall to the ground in Jesus’ presence, indicating that they cannot defeat him. The devils find no choice but to kneel before the image of the son of God, and at this moment, the crowd gathers in prayer and makes various requests to God for help.

    Dancing Devils of Yare are the representation of the route of these aimless devils, who find God and decide to battle with him, resulting in defeat, and then surrender to their faith. The people of San Francisco de Yare -and other Venezuelan states such as Guárico, Bolívar, Vargas and Carabobo-, celebrate it through the representation of this dance.

    Where are the Dancing Devils of Yare?

    diablos de yare

    San Francisco de Yare -epicenter of the Dancing Devils of Yare-, is a town located in the State of Miranda, no more than 80 kilometers from the Capital City, in Venezuela. In this sense, San Francisco de Yare -or just Yare-, is located in the northernmost part of this country, representing the Simón Bolívar Municipality, which has a population of 40.000.

    Origins of the Diablos Danzantes de Yare (Dancing Devils of Yare)

    diablos de yare

    The origins of the Dancing Devils of Yare do not have an official version, so the story of their history is always presented in two versions. These are the two stories about the origin of the Dancing Devils.

    First Version

    We go back to the XVI century, with a preacher, who at that time realised that he did not have a significant number of devotees, nor the necessary capital to make the Corpus Christi procession. Faced with this situation, the preacher said: “If I don’t have devotees to take the Blessed Sacrament, then I will call the devils”.

    Suddenly, abundant flashes of lightning surrounded the skies, warning of an approaching storm. During the lightning strike, devils began to appear in front of the church, who entered the church in an orthodox manner. This is how the dancing devils become a reminder of the arrival of the devils to invade the church of San Francisco de Yare.

    Second Version

    This version dates back to the middle of the 18th century, in the colonial period, when there was a large number of slaves in the farms, constituted of indigenous people and black Africans. The drought became one of the main problems for the harvest, a fact that greatly altered the slaves, who could lose their lives if the harvest failed due to the drought.

    Faced with this situation, the slaves turned to their faith, asking their deities for rain to revive the harvest. Unfortunately, their prayers went unheeded. As an alternative, the slaves turned to their Catholic faith – a product of the colonisers’ indoctrination – and decided to pray to the Blessed Sacrament, placing their hopes in Jesus.

    It’s in this way that in 1749, in Corpus Christi, a rain began to cover the whole town, thus saving the harvest, allowing the crops to recover. Since then, the Dance to the Blessed Sacrament was celebrated, which would become a tradition revived every ninth Thursday after Corpus Christi, the date of the Diablos Danzantes (Dancing Devils).

    Schedule of the Dancing Devils of Yare


    How to get to the Dancing Devils of Yare?

    diablos de yare

    To get to San Francisco de Yare, we must make a certain route, since we are talking about a town adjacent to the Capital City, Caracas. In this regard, we must consider the following ways to get there.

    • By plane: The first step is to arrive at the International Airport of Maiquetía Simón Bolívar. This is the most important airport in Venezuela, so we can find it as a destination in different airlines in Europe and America.
    • By bus: Once at the International Airport of Maiquetía Simón Bolívar, we must go to the Terminal del Nuevo Circo – or also Terminal de Río Tuy-. There we will find a bus line, precisely the one bound for San Francisco de Yare, which will take us directly to the town of San Francisco de Yare.
    • By rail: Subway transportation is also another convenient option to get to San Francisco de Yare. In this case, we must go to the Terminal De La Rinconada from Maiquetía by land transportation. Once there, we will enter the State Railway System (IFE), where we will get off at Charallave Norte Station. Arriving at the station, we will take a bus to Yare.

    Where to stay in San Francisco de Yare?

    diablos de yare

    San Francisco de Yare has different hotel offers so that its visitors can enjoy a good experience during their stay in the town, being able to enjoy, in addition to the Dancing Devils, its colonial spaces and recreated in the local art of the Simón Bolívar municipality.

    What to do and see during the Dancing Devils of Yare?

    The dance of the Dancing Devils of Yare contemplates a range of activities that we can enjoy during our stay in San Francisco de Yare respectively. Some of the options that we can consider are:

    • Night Parties: During the night, the people gather in the public spaces -mainly in the Bolivar square-, where they celebrate until dawn the arrival of the devils at dawn.
    • To know the square of the Devils of Yare: It is one of the most symbolic spaces of San Francisco de Yare, where we can observe a work of art made into a square, which represents this important tradition of the Dancing Devils. Hundreds of people visit this space, making it a place for recreation.

    Is it a safe city?

    The town of Yare is recognized for being a warm place and of great tourist contribution to the Valles del Tuy. Hundreds of people enjoy this important festivity every year. Despite this, it is highly advisable to reserve valuable belongings in safe spaces and avoid going to uninhabited areas at night.

    What to eat?

    Arriving at the town of Yare, we can enjoy diverse gastronomic options. The most popular are:

    • Empanadas criollas: A simple but fascinating recipe. They are fried corn flour stuffed with meat, chicken, cheese and/or fish. Most of them can be served with garlic or spicy sauce.
    • Pabellón: Rice, shredded meat, fried beans and plantains. It is one of the most typical lunches, not only in Yare, but in the whole region.
    • Hot Dogs: A bun filled with a sausage, which enjoys different toppings that give it a unique flavor in each taste.

    Before you go!

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