Colombia is passion, color and celebration. Throughout the year and in every corner of the country there are various carnivals, fairs and festivals in which the joy and the cultural and artistic expressions of the Colombian people are given free rein.
Many of these events promote art and culture through expressions such as theater, music, dance, cinema, and even gastronomy. Here are some of the biggest holidays in Colombia to keep in mind for when you visit Colombia.
Some say it is the second largest carnival in the world, others that it is the most colorful. Either way, it is definitely the most important folkloric and cultural holidays in Colombia.
Nearly one million people, including visitors and locals, participate annually in this fiesta. It begins the Saturday before Ash Wednesday and ends on Tuesday immediately after.
Declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, the meeting brings together hundreds of tourists from around the world to gather around music, dance and lots of color.
The first records about el Carnaval de Barranquilla date back to the 19th century. Its an event in which all the cultural varieties and folklore of the Colombian Caribbean Coast are expressed through popular music and dancing.
Holidays in Colombia begin early in the year with the Carnival of Blacks and Whites in Pasto. Held the first week of January, more than 10,000 artists participate, and about 2,000 musicians and dancers.
The carnival has its origin in the fusion of multiple cultures and expressions, corresponding to the Andes, the Amazon and the culture of the Pacific.
It was born in the sixteenth century in the year 1546. It pays homage to the miscegenation and multiculturalism of the region. With flour and black paint flooding the streets of San Juan de Pasto, the festivity is the most important gathering in southern Colombia.
It was also declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2002.
A festivity full of salsa and flavor held annually since 1957 between December 25 and 30. Its most important events are the Salsódromo and the so-called Superconcert.
During five days, local, national and international orchestras participate, representing tropical dance rhythms, specially salsa.
The Cali fair shows horseback riding, concerts and bullfighting, and because of this Cali receives hundreds of tourists from all over the world who come to enjoy the best of Valle del Cauca for a week.
The Manizales Fair is the largest, most important and emblematic fair in the Colombian city of Manizales. The fair focuses on bullfighting, but there are many events, concerts and exhibitions going on for a week.
Among its attractions are the International Coffee Reign, the oldest bullfighting fair in America, art exhibitions, parades and musical shows.
Inside the beautiful coffee land of Manizales, these holidays in Colombia are considered to be the best in America. This fair has Spanish roots and is inspired by the April Fair of Seville in Spain, adopting several of its customs.
There are more than 200 events that take place the first weekend of January. Multiple parades, concerts with national and international artists, craft shows, trova contest and of course the reign of coffee.
The Flower festival is the main annual event hosted by the capital of Antioquia at the beginning of August (which is one of the best times to visit Colombia). It offers a wide variety of events and shows conceived to remember, exalt and perpetuate the values of Antioquia.
The festival has the intimate character of Paisa culture, and celebrates the customs and the entire life of the region. Not everything is directly related to flowers, but they decided to give it this name of Feria de las flores since flowers are the main focus of the carnival.
The most important onces are the evergreens, carnations, sunflowers and orchid. The traditional parade of silleteros, flower vendors who carry beautiful wares on their back, is one of the central activities.
As you can see, Colombians like to celebrate and party! As long as there are smiles, colors, and food: Colombians take it as a perfect opportunity to get together and enjoy themselves.
Do you think you are ready to attend one of these main celebrations? 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.