The Tirana Festival Vigil
The vigil is held on the night of 15th July, the eve of 16th which is the festival of La Virgen del Carmen. This is when the
¨waiting for dawn¨ takes place. Bonfires are lit in the town square while dancers perform around them and throw fireworks into the air.
Then by morning, on 16th, the dancers disperse in order to change into formal clothes to sing “good morning” in the temple. Just shortly before 10am the Virgin is taken out of the square, adorned in flowers.
The bands that play in La Tirana lead the crowd in the National Anthem, the Chilean flag is hoisted and the Yungay song is played, since the Virgen del Carmen is the patron saint of the Chilean army.
To end the celebration, they hold a time of silence, to greet the Virgin with handkerchiefs, a mass is conducted by the Bishop of Iquique and then the dancers get ready for the afternoon procession.