The Festival begins with the rite to “unearth” the carnival from a hillside, where the “devil” is dug up to initiate the celebration. Each location has particular characteristics in their rites, but they all share the same essence. Everybody takes advantage of this by going from one location to the other, to enjoy the singular experiences offered in each place.

The events take place throughout the week, and during this time, people “mark” their livestock, and “feed” Mother Earth. Colorful costumes, comparsas (parading groups) and traditional dances, such as Carnavalito, are the popular cultural expressions that visitors will find all around. The dancing groups known as comparsas include one or more “devils”, dressed up in colorful costumes covered with mirrors and small bells, and a long tail that they use to entertain the audience. These comparsas always carry a flag as an emblem, and they never let go of it. During this celebration, there is plenty of spirits and alcoholic drinks. The quiet local people take this opportunity to show themselves happy and festive. Tourists will not feel excluded from this celebration and will soon be part of the dancing and singing, with a glass of wine in their hands, and covered with flour from head to toe.  Even though there are parties in private homes, dancing and drinking on the street is very common as well.

The festivity ends with the “burial” of carnival one week later, with the celebration called “Small Carnival.” On “Temptation Sunday,” comparsas are headed to the mojón or cairn (a heap of stones), located in a hill, where the president of the group places the flag that accompanied them throughout that time. They dig a pit to feed the Pachamama, and they bury the “little devil” (an effigy representing the Carnival) until the following year.  With this burial, the joy is over and there only remains tiredness after the hectic days without rules, schedules or peace.