The city’s biggest fiestas are July 24, Simón Bolívar’s birthday, and July 25, the foundation of the city, celebrated together in a week of events and festivities known as the fiestas julianas, complete with processions, street dancing and fireworks. Another important bash is October 9, for the city’s independence, which is combined with the Día de la Raza on October 12, commemorating Columbus’s discovery of the New World. New Year’s Eve is celebrated with the burning of the años viejos, large effigies, on the Malecón at midnight.

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