Bogota, March 3 (IANS) The four-day-long annual Barranquilla carnival, the second-largest in the world, began in Colombia with the Battle of Flowers, a grand parade attended by more than 600,000 people.
One of the most popular festivals in the country, the carnival, declared by Unesco as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003, dates back to the 1880s, Efe news reported.
The Battle of Flowers, one of the biggest draws of the carnival, dates back to 1903, and was aimed at celebrating the end of the One Thousand Days War in Colombia.
After the end of the war, the people of Barranquilla gathered for the parade and fought with flowers instead of bullets, mocking war-mongers, including real life politicians and leaders.
Like every year, the Battle of Flowers on Saturday, put up a grand, colourful spectacle replete with 30 floats, more than 12,000 dancers from 100 folkloric groups, ‘cumbiambas’ (popular Colombian dance), along with people dressed in traditional and modern costumes.
The Carnival Queen, Carolina Segebre Abudinen, toured the city on her flower-decked chariot “Golden City”, in a tribute to the vibrancy of the city.
The magnificent floats were an ode to their creators, with themes including “Paloteo en batalle” (Bickering in Battle), “Vuelo al Paraiso” (Flight to Paradise), “Puloy” (Colombian Caribbean), and “Furia Africana” (African Fury), reflected the creativity of their builders.