Caribbean Beat Magazine

Baby John

In the Venezuelan town of Curiepe, the festival of San Juan brings flags, drumming, and processions

  • Photograph by Jose Carlos Gonzalez

In the small town of Curiepe, east of Caracas, the festival of San Juan, celebrated during the summer solstice in June, is a tangible reminder of the survival of Afro-Venezuelan heritage under slavery. The figure of St John as a little boy is paraded through the streets to the sounds of drumming and chanting, while Roman Catholics and Santarismo adherents alike wave red flags and handkerchiefs in his honour.