7 junio, 2024

11 Festivals of the Andean Region of Colombia

The festivals of the Andean region of Colombia reveal the folklore of this region. In them, traits of indigenous, black and Spanish traditions are manifested in both religious and secular celebrations.

Many of these festivities are related to the Catholic religious calendar and remain in force since two thirds of the Colombian population consider themselves practicing Catholics.

The secular festivals, for their part, maintain a relationship with indigenous, black, peasant and urban traditions, with the musicians and dancers being the officiants or conductors of the festive ritual.

Main religious festivals of the Andean region

Religious festivals

There are many religious festivals, whether of Catholic influence or with indigenous or African roots that take place in the Andean region of Colombia.

Some of the busiest and most touristic are the following:

– Candlemas Festival

It is officiated in almost all the municipalities of the Andean region. Its celebration date is February 2 and it has been recorded for several centuries as one of the most important devotions.

Bullfights are also held on this festivity, direct evidence of Spanish influence.

– Carnival of whites and blacks

It is related to the religious festival of the Magi. It is also called the Fiesta de los Negritos because the participants paint their faces with charcoal to remember the black magician king Baltazar when he visited the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

It is celebrated between January 5 and 7 of each year. In 2002 it was declared as Cultural Heritage of Colombia. Its origins are Catholic and with syncretism of African cults.

– Festivities of San Juan and San Pedro

They are celebrated between June 23 and 30. The towns most devoted to these festivities are those of Tolima, Huila, El Guamo, San Agustín and Melgar.

He has Catholic roots and the African Yoruba religion. It is also known as the Bambuco Festival in Neiva.

– The Feast of Corpus Christi

This celebration mixes indigenous and Catholic traditions as it is a party where the land is thanked with a great exhibition of fruits and flowers.

It is celebrated in June in the town of Anolaima in Cundinamarca.

secular holidays

Parades, dances, bullfights and lots of music are the constant in the festivities of the Colombian Andean regions.

– The Manizales Fair

This Spanish-influenced fair has the characteristic features of a carnival. Parades, bullfights, dances and beauty queens are chosen in popular contests such as the International Coffee Reign.

Around this fair there are also major cultural events such as the National Trova Festival or the National Folk Festival.

– Parade of Silleteros

It has its origin in indigenous traditions. The natives of the town carried chairs on their backs to carry food or carry children.

In commemoration every August 7 in Santa Elena (Medellín) there is a parade with more than 90 varieties of flowers that are carried on the backs of the participants.

– International Festival of Culture

Although its data is recent (1977) it represents one of the main cultural festivities of today in the Colombian Andean region.

It is held in May in Tunja and there are concerts of academic and popular music, art exhibitions, conferences and all the latest news from the artistic and cultural world of the region.

– Cali Fair

It is celebrated annually for five days in the city of Cali, one of the most important in the Andean region.

It is an event in which a series of events take place around music, mainly the most traditional and popular music in the country (salsa, cumbia, reggae, etc.).

There are many national and international artists who offer concerts during this day. There are also contests, parades of queens, troupes, festivals and gastronomic exhibitions.

– Fashion week in Colombia

Bogotá wants to be an American and international benchmark in the textile and fashion industry. For this, there are several events that it organizes annually such as Bogotá Fashion Week, Colombiamoda or Plataforma K.

Bogotá International Fashion Week is a meeting point for businessmen, designers, models, shoemakers or jewelers who want to start their distribution journey in Latin America.


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Minana, C. (2009). Party and music. Transformations of a relationship in the Andean Cauca of Colombia. Lima: Dupligráficas Ltda. Retrieved on October 21, 2017 from: infoartes.pe
Koorn, D. (1977) Folk music of the Colombian Andes. Washington: Washington University. Retrieved on October 21, 2017 from: books.google.es
Borsdorf, A; Stadel, C. (2015). The Andes. A Geographical Portal. Switzerland: Austral. Retrieved on October 21, 2017 from: books.google.es
Seven customs of Colombia. Retrieved on October 21, 2017 from: viajala.com.co
Jaramillo, J. (nd). Peasants of the Andes. Bogota: National University of Colombia. Retrieved on October 21, 2017 from: revistas.unal.edu.co

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