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VIDEO : Watch: Columbia holds its Carnival of ‘Blacks and Whites’

Ornate floats paraded through crowds of revellers in Colombia’s Pasto, close to the southwestern border with Ecuador, during the Carnival of Blacks and Whites.

Thousands of people gather each year from 28 December to 6 January to attend the event.

Billing itself as a celebration of equality, it has been held for more than a century in a region home to many Afro-Colombians and Indigenous communities heavily marked by racial and economic inequality.

“Welcome to the only party where painting one’s face is World Heritage,” the festival’s website proclaims.

The practice of blackface, which is denounced as racist in many countries around the world, is a key element of the festival and is meant to celebrate diversity. 

“The main days of the carnival are the last two when people of all ethnicities don black cosmetics on the first day, then white talcum on the next to symbolize equality and integrate all citizens through a celebration of ethnic and cultural difference,” according to UNESCO.

Click on__the video above to see more.

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