Bolivian Catholics break rocks to change fortunes


On Tuesday, pilgrims struck rocks to try to improve their fortunes. PHOTO: REUTERS

On Tuesday, pilgrims struck rocks to try to improve their fortunes. PHOTO: REUTERS

Every year, on the third week of August, thousands of Bolivian Catholics gather on the outskirts of capital La Paz to take a swing at fortune by breaking rocks.

The rite is performed to call for the blessing of the Virgin of Urkupina.

Legend has it that Virgin Mary appeared to a shepherd girl to instruct her to take rocks from this dried river that miraculously turned into silver when she reached home.

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On Tuesday, pilgrims struck rocks to try to improve their fortunes.

When a rock is easily split, their wish will be soon fulfilled. If believers have more difficulty striking and splitting the rock, it will take more time.

PHOTO: REUTERS

“You can ask for a house, a car, all your wishes are fulfilled,” said believer Ricardo Tarqui. “I broke the rock with a second blow and in a third attempt. I have been able to buy a house and also a car.”

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While Bolivia is a largely Roman Catholic country, it has kept its strong indigenous roots.

PHOTO: REUTERS

This unique ritual, mixing Catholic and local culture, hits a sweet spot with many pilgrims from around the country and abroad.


Original news : http://tribune.com.pk/story/1165145/thousands-bolivian-catholics-break-rocks-change-fortunes/