South America’s second-largest carnival, which takes place in the north Colombian city of Barranquilla, has chosen its Carnival Queen for 2014.
Maria Margarita Diazgranados, the 21-year old daughter of the 1988 Carnival Queen, was chosen on Monday to succeed this year’s Queen, Daniela Cepeda Tarud.
“It’s more than just a dream,” Margarita said after the announcement. “Being Carnival Queen is for me the opportunity to contribute to the tradition that comes out of the very essence of our culture.”
The UNESCO recognized four-day festival is traditionally held four days before Ash Wednesday. Although the true birth of the festival is disputed, it is widely regarded as a mixture of European, African and native South American cultures from around the time of Spanish colonization.
African slaves and indigenous populations from Colombia’s Caribbean coast fused their traditions and as time went by, the celebrations turned into an annual festival and a celebration of the Christian Holy Week.
The new Queen, who studied administration in Bogota, comes from a family of Carnival Queens: apart from her mother, her aunt and two of her cousins have also worn the crown during the colorful, music-drenched frivolities.