Uncover 13 of the Coolest Native Festivals in Colombia

¡Fiesta! ¡Fiesta! ¡Fiesta! If there’s one factor Colombians find it irresistible’s a celebration…or a pageant…or a carnival…or a parade. Colombian festivals abound all yr lengthy, and we cowl crucial or commonest ones on this article.

After studying about these festivals in Colombia, we’re fairly certain you’ll be dying to go to. You may additionally wish to study some Spanish with Rosetta Stone, which affords an immersive methodology of language studying designed to get you talking on the very first day.

1. Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (Black and White Carnival)

When: Late December into January

The place: San Juan de Pasto

What to anticipate: A celebration of mestizaje, or the intermingling of varied cultures and races (together with Pacific, Amazonian, and Andean), that is crucial carnival in southern Colombia. It was initiated within the mid-sixteenth century after the arrival of the Spanish. The pageant underwent a means of fusion amongst indigenous, African, and Catholic traditions.

Three Kings Day on January fifth was declared a vacation for the African slaves (negritos) to have a good time their heritage, so coloring the city and their faces black turned a enjoyable recreation. This custom took nice maintain within the area of Pastos. A lot in a while January sixth, a blancos (whites) recreation began in a brothel, the place tailors powdered individuals’s faces of everybody there or on the church after mass.

Carnaval de Negros y Blancos developed much more till it turned what it’s right this moment: a parade recognized for its distinctive artistry when it comes to its floats. These large sculptural creations of brilliant colours take a couple of yr to create and generally maintain dozens of dancers.

On the second to the final day of the pageant, attendees put on a darkish pigmentation to honor the normal heritage. Then on the final day, they apply white powder to their faces. As a complete, these black and white cosmetics are supposed to signify the unity of the races. The Carnaval de Negros y Blancos is included in UNESCO’s Consultant Checklist of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Enjoyable truth: Carnaval kicks off with the Water Carnival the place water fights with balloons and buckets are all a part of avenue enjoyable. For those who resolve to enterprise out, be ready to get moist!

>> Be taught Colombian Spanish: the “best” Spanish dialect

2. Feria de Manizales (Manizales Truthful)

When: early January

The place: Manizales

What to anticipate: Manizales, Columbia, is known for its espresso, and one spotlight of this truthful is the Espresso Queen competitors. It’s a magnificence pageant that pulls contestants from round Columbia and even neighboring international locations. There’s additionally one other competitors through which trova singers compete by singing improvised lyrics.

Although it has its share of floats, folklore and music like different Colombian festivals, Feria de Manizales has a pair distinctive occasions that different festivals in Columbia don’t maintain: bullfighting and tango occasions. Don’t be fooled that it is a small pageant—over 300 occasions are held every year. You’ll discover one thing enjoyable to do with the locals!

Enjoyable truth: This truthful was impressed by the April Truthful in Seville, Spain, however this model has a definite Columbian aptitude.

3. Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas)

When: Early February

The place: Varied locations in Colombia however particularly in Cartagena

What to anticipate: Día de la Candelaria commemorates the second when the Virgin Mary took the toddler Jesus and a few candles to be blessed within the temple. 

In Cartagena, you’ll see processions, festivals, and cabalgatas, that are well-liked parades. The focus is often horses and riders however you’ll additionally see bands, music, and floats designed to have a good time this particular second. Folks additionally climb up Cerro de la Popa (Popa Hill) and descend with a picture of the Virgin of Candelaría. Candlemas can also be celebrated as a preferred pageant in Peru.

Enjoyable truth: The Virgin of Candelaria is represented by a black Madonna statue in Tenerife, Spain, within the Canary Islands.

4. Carnaval de Barranquilla 

When: January into February

The place: Barranquilla

What to anticipate: This centuries-old Colombian pageant is the most important celebration of all, with pre-event celebrations taking place for a number of weeks. The Barranquilla Carnival takes place over 4 days, filling the streets with brilliant colours, masks, dances, music, and a lot extra. Tickets are required to attend, but it surely’s price doing because it could be the “partiest” occasion you’ll attend in Columbia. Plan to be right here on the Saturday earlier than Ash Wednesday, as that’s often the beginning date of the pageant.

Enjoyable truth: You’ll be able to study loads of cultural dances just like the African congo, indigenous mico y micas, or a number of Colombian dances like porro and puya.

5. Pageant de Música Andina Colombiana ‘Mono Núñez’ (Andean Music Pageant) 

When: Early March

The place: Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Bogotá

What to anticipate: Characterised as “crucial Andean music occasion of Colombia,” this pageant can also be thought-about to be the most effective of its sort in Latin America. Annually, essentially the most distinctive contributors are chosen, they usually turn out to be the headliners for the next pageant. Music lovers don’t miss out on this lyrical pageant that’s held yearly in Bogotá.

Enjoyable truth: The pageant can also be merely referred to as El Mono Núñez, the nickname for the Colombian musician named Benigno Núñez.

6. Semana Santa (Holy Week)

When: the week earlier than Easter

The place: Popoyán, Mompox, and elsewhere

What to anticipate: Nearly all of Colombians are Catholic, and it’s widespread to have a good time your entire week earlier than Easter. Most individuals take at the very least Thursday and Friday off of labor. In Popoyán, common processions occur in the course of the week representing biblical occasions main as much as the crucifixion. Members carry flowers, statues, and lit candles.

With traditions stretching again to colonial occasions, Holy Week in Mompox entails the participation of seven of the town’s colonial church buildings and the carrying of spiritual statuary by means of the streets. One spotlight of the week: the Serenata a los Difuntos (Serenade to the Lifeless) on the metropolis’s cemetery.

Enjoyable truth: Easter is the primary Sunday after the complete moon that falls on or after the spring equinox. If the complete moon occurs to happen on a Sunday, then Easter is the next Sunday.

7. Pageant Internacional de Cine de Cartagena (Cartagena Worldwide Cinema Pageant)

When: mid-April

The place: Cartagena

What to anticipate: This pageant is totally free and stuffed with the very best movies in Colombia and different Latin American international locations. A novel characteristic of this movie pageant is the Ópera Prima Lab, which exhibits the brand new work of younger administrators and producers dwelling in Colombia. Cine en los Barrios believes within the energy of artwork to remodel humanity. This program takes movie screenings and workshops to completely different neighborhoods of the town. Prizes referred to as the Premios India Catalina acknowledge distinctive work in tv are awarded in the course of the pageant.

Enjoyable truth: The FICCI is the oldest movie pageant in South America! It’s been going robust since 1960. 

8. Feria Internacional del Libro de Bogotá (Bogotá Worldwide Ebook Truthful)

When: April into Might

The place: Corferias, Bogotá

What to anticipate: A e-book lover’s dream, this e-book truthful consists of two weeks of e-book stands, readings, and different literary occasions. It’s attended by about 63,000 individuals, with 500 notable company, and a couple of,000 actions. The truthful isn’t just for e-book lovers, translators, and writers, but in addition for these concerned within the making of books similar to publishers, editors, and graphic designers.

Enjoyable truth: Ebook festivals are well-liked throughout Latin America and are sometimes abbreviated as FIL. The Bogotá Ebook Truthful’s initials are written as FILBo.

9. Pageant de la Leyenda Vallenata (Vallenato Pageant)

When: April 30–Might 4, 2024

The place: Valledupar

What to anticipate: Vallenato is a conventional musical fashion that originated from the Caribbean coast of Colombia, but it surely’s additionally performed in different elements of Latin America. With influences from the likes of merengue and son, vallenato is performed with simply three devices: the accordion, the snare drum, and the guacharaca, a percussion instrument often comprised of a palm tree.

You’ll be able to watch a contest between female and male accordion gamers till two are named king and queen. Witness individuals of all ages honor girls’s conventional music-making actions by dancing the pilón dance in spectacular costumes with corn-grinding props. And also you gained’t wish to miss the Willys Paranderos parade of outdated jeeps or the tenor voice of Iván Villazón.

Enjoyable truth: Vallenato has been inscribed on the listing of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

10. Fiestas de San Juan y San Pedro y Reinado Nacional de Bambuco

When: late June to early July

The place: Neiva, Tolima and Espinal, Huila

What to anticipate: This native Colombian pageant referred to as Feasts of St. John & St. Peter & the Bambuco Pageant options reside music, beautiful regional costumes, and conventional bambuco and sanjuanero dances. With origins relationship again to the colonial period once they particularly honored St. John and St. Peter, these celebrations took on new reputation within the Sixties as a solution to “heal wounds” from the violence skilled in Colombia at the moment. As we speak, they’re a celebration of life and the joyfulness of folkloric dances.

Enjoyable truth: These celebrations are so vital that they’re thought-about as Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

11. La Fería de las Flores (Medellín Flower Truthful)

When: July into August

The place: Totally different neighborhoods of Medellín and in Santa Elena (about 45 minutes east of Medellín)

What to anticipate: It’s held in Antioquia, a serious exporter of flowers, so La Fería de las Flores is a collection of occasions centered across the theme of flowers. Listed here are just a few notable occasions.

  • Desfile de Silleteros: Starting in Santa Elena, it is a parade of chairs which have been elaborately adorned with flowers. Flower growers of the area are referred to as silleteros (chair makers or carriers) because the younger, the aged, and the infirm have been carried on the backs of silleteros on a bit chair centuries in the past. The observe carried over to colonial occasions when colonizers have been transported with these chairs. A few of the silletas are so laden with flowers they weigh over 150 kilos.
  • Desfile de Auto Clásicos y Antiguos: A parade of traditional and vintage vehicles with among the vehicles sparsely adorned with flowers.
  • La Feria a Ritmo de Bicicleta: A stupendous a part of the truthful that options bicycle riders who’ve adorned their bicis (bikes) with flowers.
  • Pageant Nacional de la Trova: Trova music originated in Cuba and is a type of Latin American folks music. This Nationwide Pageant of Trova is a pageant inside a pageant!
  • Caravana de Chivas y Flores: A chiva is a type of outdated, funky, open-air bus. On this case, the buses are adorned with flowers and carry musicians.

Enjoyable truth: This truthful, which started in 1957, is taken into account to be crucial pageant of Medellín.

12. Cartagena Independence Truthful or Cartagena Carnaval

When: November

The place: Cartagena

What to anticipate: Boasting about 30 occasions for all ages, this celebration of Cartagena’s independence will get began on the Plaza de la Aduana within the early night. As is typical of Colombian festivals, you’ll expertise reside music. However what stands out for this pageant is the consideration of fireplace as a logo of conventional dancing. Keep for the Noche de Candelas y Jolgorio de Tambores y Candadoras, an evening procession with dancing, costumes, drumming, singing, torches, and a reside band.

The Desfile de las Fiestas (Parade of the Festivities) typically takes place a few days earlier than on avenida Santander the place you possibly can watch costumed dancers and reside music enliven the streets. Entrance is free however restricted, so get there early.

Enjoyable truth: This independence pageant has been held yearly since 1811!

13. Feria de Cali (Cali Truthful)

When: December

The place: Cali

What to anticipate: The Feria de Cali celebrates cultura well-liked (well-liked tradition) and in addition embraces a protracted historical past of conventional tradition. You’ll discover a wide range of occasions to attend, however you’ll have to buy tickets.

  • Salsódromo (Salsa Parade): About 2 miles in size and lasting round 5 hours, the Salsa Parade entails music and dancing galore offered by the very best dancers within the nation.
  • La Fiesta de Mi Pueblo (My City’s Celebration): This parade has about 35 floats and 1,500 contributors to spotlight the completely different neighborhoods in and round Cali.
  • Desfile de Joyas Rodantes (Parade of Gems on Wheels): Because the title implies, it is a parade of traditional and vintage vehicles.
  • Carnaval de Cali Viejo (Carnival of Outdated Cali): It is a extra conventional parade with music, costumes, and dancing that displays the wealthy mixture of Colombian tradition and historical past, together with  indigenous, Spanish, and African heritages.

The truthful options mini-festivals and small festivals, a few of which have as many as six places on any given day. The smaller occasions from final yr embrace:

  • Feria Rural y Comunera (Rural and Neighborhood Truthful): This truthful throughout the truthful lasts throughout your entire occasion and has almost 40 occasions alone, unfold out over the town at about 7 places.
  • Pageant de Orquestas (Orchestra Pageant): With heavy emphasis on salsa dancing, the pageant has about twenty reside orchestras at completely different places.
  • Encuentro de Melómanos y Coleccionistas (Music Followers and Collectors Encounter): Happening over the course of your entire truthful, the encounter has reside music similar to tropical or Cuban music for 11 hours a day. Collectors can purchase music-related objects like vinyl albums and vintage devices.
  • Feria Alternativa (Various Truthful): That includes blues, jazz, rock, Andean music, and so forth., this truthful is the place for many who is probably not followers of salsa.

Enjoyable truth: Over one million individuals attended the Feria de Cali final yr.

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Discover the festivals in Colombia whereas studying Spanish with Rosetta Stone 

Colombia is a rustic of fascinating traditions and historical past not like another. With a largely tropical local weather and pleasant individuals proud to share their festivities and customs with others, it’s an excellent place to go to or examine. For those who’d like your Spanish to be understood extra simply earlier than you go, TruAccent may give you immediate suggestions in your pronunciation as you study by means of Rosetta Stone.

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