Medellín is known as Colombia’s city of eternal spring due to its warm climate, and its gardens. Every August, the town proves its title with the Feria de las Flores — a week-long event that celebrates local culture. Keep reading to discover why you cannot miss this beloved tradition when visiting Medellín.
Medellín has been a leading industrial hub in Colombia since the early 20th century. Moreover, as of today, the city has become an innovation epicenter in Latin America. This spirit of transformation, however, has not compelled locals into forsaking their traditions.
This strong sense of culture was the driving force behind the first-ever Feria de las Flores, or Flower Fair. Back in 1957, the city’s tourism office invited 40 flower growers from nearby Santa Elena to show their products in a parade.
These farmers, known as silleteros, went to Medellín every weekend to sell their blooms in neighborhoods and churches. Over 60 years later, the Desfile de Silleteros remains at the heart of the fair.
Although once a small group, nowadays, the silleteros parading down the streets of Medellín, during the fair, can reach up to 500. On their backs, they carry their silletas: genuine works of art that recall a past of perseverance.
In colonial times, silletas were used to transport everything in the region of Antioquia: from coal, to fruit and vegetables, and even people.
Today, silletas are a testimony of rural Antioquia and its natives. There are four types:
The Feria de las Flores also summons flower lovers at the Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden. During the fair, dozens of experts showcase their best blooms, especially orchids — Colombia’s national flower.
The country is home to over 4,000 species of orchid, 1,543 of them endemic. Visitors can also enjoy the sight of numerous bird species.
As part of its spirit of honoring tradition, the Feria de las Flores also hosts a classic car parade. This moving museum travels 17 miles into the city, showcasing about 200 models. Passengers usually dress up in fashion to match their vehicles.
Every year, the fair offers diverse musical and cultural events, such as concerts and artisan exhibitions. Biking enthusiasts also join the festivities, riding their bicycles through town.
Participants wear costumes and also dress up their bikes with flowers.
As a celebration of local farming culture, the fair is a jewel of Colombia tourism. In 2019, it welcomed over 2,000 foreign travelers. We hope to see you there this year!
If you need help or guidance with the planning process of your trip to Colombia, don´t hesitate to contact us. We have a team of travel experts looking forward to help you have the best holiday of your life.