7 junio, 2024

20 traditions and customs of Ecuador

The traditions and customs of Ecuador They are celebrations, ways of acting and cultural elements that have been taking place since ancient times in this country. Some of the most important are the Fiesta del Sol, the celebration of the crosses, Ecuadorian music, the montubio rodeo and the Yamor festival, among many others.

These expressions represent a wide cultural baggage, since a large number of communities and ethnic groups converge in this country that contribute their different beliefs and festivities. Likewise, the influence of indigenous groups has a considerable weight within the cosmogony of the inhabitants of this region.

Ecuador is a mestizo country since it is inhabited by whites, indigenous people and Afro-Ecuadorians, who have spread throughout the entire territory to occupy the east, the mountains, the coast and the insular region. For this reason, customs are not only diverse due to miscegenation, but also due to geographical differences that develop in the country.

This means that the way of understanding the world, nature and society is notoriously influenced by the location of the communities. For example, the episteme of the inhabitants of the insular region may vary from that of the communities installed in the mountains.

The 20 most popular Ecuadorian traditions and customs

-Childish games

Within the Ecuadorian territories, the youngest have fun with a series of native games of the region.

Some of these recreations are not only practiced in Ecuador, but are also very popular within the Latin American continent, such as marbles or hopscotch.

The marbles or meters

This game consists of carrying out a competition through the use of small marbles or glass balls, which are placed on the ground within a circle drawn with chalk; This circular area or perimeter is generally known as a ray.

The first player or participant must throw his marble in any place delimited by the beam so that the second participant tries to collide with his marble that of the first player. This is for the opponent’s piece to go beyond the limit established in the circular figure.

If the player in turn manages to get the other’s marble out of the limit, this means that this participant has won the meter; therefore, the game ends when one of the players has kept all the pieces of the other participants.


This game is based on the use of chalk, since it is used to trace some squares where each of the participants must jump without stepping on the lines of the squares.

Depending on the square, the player must jump on one foot or with both. In addition, before starting to jump, the participant must throw a stone that will indicate which box must be avoided when starting the hopscotch tour.

The participant loses the game in two specific cases: if he steps on the lines of the squares or if the stone he has previously thrown has fallen on one of these delimitations. Then, the players must try to throw the stone inside the squares.

-Traditional Ecuadorian festivities related to the Catholic religion

The carnivals

As in many Latin American countries, Ecuadorians like to celebrate carnival and celebrate it a few days before celebrating Lent. Carnival is one of the most common celebrations in these territories, which is why it takes place in almost the entire country.

Depending on the state or region in which it is celebrated, the carnival contains cultural variations according to which different dances and costumes are added. Usually games with water balloons are played and music is played.

Festival of flowers and fruits

In Ecuador there is a celebration known as the festival of fruits and flowers, where some parades are organized and flowers and fruit baskets are given away.

This is celebrated before Lent, so it is a festivity related to the Catholic religion. This celebration is typical of the town of Ambato although it can also be seen in other places.

-The party of the Sun

This is one of the most important celebrations for Ecuadorians, since the origin of this tradition goes back to the years of the colonial era. It is celebrated during the course of June and July, commemorating the summer solstice.

During this period, tribute is paid to the solar star, which is considered one of the most important gods for indigenous groups. This party is usually held in Imbabura; however, in Otavalo this type of event also occurs.

One of the traditions or events carried out during these months is that an indigenous group takes over the square in order to represent some historical elements of great importance for Ecuador, such as the uprising against the Spanish yoke at the time of the conquests.

-Yamor Festival

This celebration is typical of the indigenous communities and takes place during the first days of September.

La Yamor aims to celebrate Mother Earth and thank her for her natural resources, especially for the existence of corn. For this reason, on this day, a series of dishes are prepared using corn and some of its derivatives.

Not only in the Yamor festival, thanks for corn is given, as this also occurs in another festivity known as the Corn Harvest Festival, carried out mainly in Tarqui. The celebrations of this tradition are much more local and therefore do not have a notable tourist scope.

-Festival of October 12

Many nations of the American continent celebrate the so-called Columbus Day on October 12, which is also celebrated in Ecuador.

This is one of the most important festivities for the nation due to the large number of indigenous population that lives in this country, although it is not celebrated at the national level but is carried out more vigorously in some regions.

For example, during this day in the provinces of Los Ríos and Las Guayas, joyous meetings are held where horsemanship is practiced and rodeos are held.

-November 2, Day of the Dead

This festivity is well known worldwide and belongs mainly to Mexico. However, in Ecuador this celebration is also practiced.

At this time, Ecuadorians pay tribute to the deceased, especially those who belong to the same family line. For this, the families prepare typical meals of each region and bring colorful flowers to the dead.

-The rodeo montubio

On the coasts of Ecuador, a special tradition is held for cowboys known as the montubio rodeo, where riders must prove their courage and skill when riding their horses.

Generally, each cowboy represents a particular hacienda, so the winner gets a trophy in the name of his land.

On October 12, a special montubio rodeo known as Salitre takes place, which is well known in Latin America and notoriously draws the attention of tourists.

-Ecuadorian music: the zamacueca and the fandango

The most important rhythms or musical genres for Ecuador are the zamacueca and the fandango, which have their origins with the arrival of the Spanish because they were the ones who introduced these sounds.

However, the natives of Ecuador decided to adopt these rhythms adding their own interpretation, thus building a typical music.

The typical music of this Latin American country also absorbed African manifestations thanks to the introduction of settlers from this area during the colonization process. This combination of sounds is fascinating for scholars, since it demonstrates how miscegenation was gestated in the region.

-La guatita

As with music, Ecuadorian gastronomy is also the result of cultural assimilation, which is why you can find foods and seasonings that are used by indigenous people as well as by Africans and Europeans.

One of the dishes preferred by the Ecuadorian population is the guatita, which consists of a kind of mondongo that is accompanied with various vegetables, such as tomatoes and onions; a touch of lemon is also added to generate a contrast of flavors.


This is also one of the most prepared dishes by Ecuadorians, both in urban and rural areas.

The main ingredient of this food is made up of chicken or beef meat, to which vegetables and greens are added. One of the favorite accompaniments for sancocho is cassava, a tuber native to indigenous communities.

Generally, Ecuadorian dishes of this type are complemented with tamales, which consist of wrappers made of corn flour that are filled with a wide variety of foods: from vegetables to pork.

-Guaguas of bread with purple colada

This particular dish is prepared exclusively during the Day of the Dead and is very striking due to its colors and shapes.

The colada consists of a drink prepared with purple or black corn with a sweet flavor that is prepared with fruits and cornstarch; this is what gives it its characteristic color.

The drink can take from blackberries to oranges, and some even add strawberry and pineapple. Likewise, Ecuadorians add some spices such as cinnamon, lemon verbena, cloves and sweet pepper. Before preparing the drink, the cornmeal must be fermented by resting it in water.

As for the bus of bread, this is the sandwich that accompanies the special drink and consists of a bread that has the shape of a human being, especially as a child, since «guagua» means «infant» in the Kichwa language.

Some consider that the shape of this bread is not similar to that of a child, but rather corresponds to the figure of a doll.

These anthropomorphic breads in most cases are filled with something sweet, such as jam, chocolate or pastry cream; in some places they add fruits and dulce de leche. Traditionally, the colada represents the blood of the dead, while the bus of bread alludes to the body.

Inca origins

Although this celebration coincides with the date imposed by the Catholic religion (November 2), the origins of this festivity are actually Inca, since it is considered that this drink was widely consumed during the existence of pre-Hispanic civilizations.

Several archaeologists, such as Mario Vásconez, propose that the bread bus is a substitute for indigenous mummies because with the arrival of the Catholic religion, the native populations could not continue removing their mummies in ceremonial acts.

This would explain the fact that the guaguas do not have limbs and that they only have an oblong body that carries crossed ornaments similar to the ropes carried by the indigenous mummies.

-Oral traditions

Oral tradition is called the set of expressions and cultural stories that are part of the episteme of a people and that are transmitted from generation to generation through speech.

Within oral traditions you can…

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