Semana Criolla

(redirected from Gaucho Festival)

Semana Criolla (Gaucho Festival)

Between March 15 and April 18; during Holy Week
Gauchos—Latin American cowboys—are highly revered in Uruguay, where for more than 150 years they fought the Indians and ruled the plains. Semana Criolla, a three-week festival that pays tribute to gauchos, coincides with the observance of Holy Week. In the Prado, a park in Montevideo, men in typical gaucho dress—high boots, baggy pants, ponchos, and cowboy hats—compete against each other in horsemanship, lassoing, and bronco-busting, much like a rodeo in the western United States.
The bronco-busting is the highlight of the gaucho festival, and contestants come from all over the country to undergo a screening process designed to select the best applicants for the competitions. There is as much emphasis on elegant costumes and beautiful saddles as there is on the skills involved, and occasionally female gauchos make a name for themselves by appearing in this event.
Uruguay Tourist Bureau
1077 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
877-878-4829 or 305-443-9764; fax: 305-443-7802
FiestaTime-1965, p. 68