Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria en Copiapó
This festival takes place in Copiapó on the first Sunday in February. It is an event attended by hundreds of dancers who express their devotion to their patron, the Virgen de la Candelaria, through songs, dances, special costumes and prayers.
The cult dates from 1780, when a miner, Mariano Caro Inca, taking refuge from a storm in a natural cave on the banks of the Maricunga salt flat, found an image of the Virgin.
The fame of its miracles spread among the miners and believers of the area, and has lasted until today.
The festival lasts for a week, and causes great religious fervor in Copiapó and indeed in the entire northern part of the country.