7 junio, 2024

7 Traditions and Customs of Cuenca (Ecuador)

Some traditions and most popular customs of Cuenca they are closely related to the history of this city, since the culture of this community has been and continues to be transmitted from generation to generation.

Cuenca is the capital of the Azuay province, which is located in the south-central zone of the Republic of Ecuador, and which was founded thanks to the request of the Spanish viceroy of Peru, Don Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza.

You may also be interested in the most popular festivals in Ecuador.

Traditions and most popular customs of Cuenca

Traditions and customs are born and exist because they are part of the present and past life of a community, since they are created based on characteristic features of the community or with the aim of covering a cultural need.

1- Cuencan Chola

The chola from Cuenca is a traditional Cuenca woman. To be a Cuencan chola, the person must dress in the traditional costumes of Cuenca, which are the result of an indigenous mixture.

The typical costume from Cuenca is made up of a wide skirt that reaches the knees, known as a skirt; the skirts are usually strong colors like red or purple. They also wear a normally white blouse and a toquilla straw hat.

2- Thursday of comadres and compadres

Thursdays of comadres and compadres is a celebration that traditionally takes place in Cuenca every year on the Thursday before carnival.

The purpose of this celebration is to make people enjoy time with family or friends, since Thursdays of comadres and compadres is a game in which everyone ends up soaked.

In this game there are different containers filled with colored water because, apart from the water, they also add cornstarch, streamers, paper and rose petals.

The different containers of water are distributed among everyone who is going to participate in the game. The objective is to wet other participants.

3- Cuenca night

Cuenca night is a celebration that takes place any day of the year and on several occasions. This tradition consists of a large colorful celebration that reflects many characteristic features of the Cuenca culture.

It is based on colorful decorations, accompanied by food and drinks typical of the area and, in addition, they prepare dances to present them during the celebration.

4- Day of the dead

It is a custom of the Cuenca people to prepare a specific food and drink every November 2.

This tradition is not only carried out at home, but it is also a day when merchants offer these products to the public. The drink they prepare is the “colada morada” that they accompany with the “guaguas de pan”.

5- Holy Week

This celebration is part of the liturgical calendar and is highly respected by the people of Cuenca. During Holy Week, processions and masses are held to commemorate the path that Christ traveled when he was arrested and crucified.

In Holy Week, Cuencanos attend religious activities and on Holy Thursday they visit the seven churches.

6- Cuenca bread

In the Todos los Santos neighborhood of Cuenca there is a tradition of artisans who make the well-known Cuenca bread in a wood oven. At times like Christmas or Carnival it is tradition to consume this delicacy. There are many variants that have been appearing, adapting to the times and culinary trends.

7- Thursday of compadres and comadres

Although it is a tradition that is gradually being lost, it is one of the oldest in Cuenca and the one that creates the most nostalgia among the older citizens.

It is celebrated two weeks before Carnival, specifically on a Thursday, where the people of Cuenca strengthened ties of friendship by giving each other gifts such as sweets or other gifts.


Ecuador basin. (nd). Retrieved on December 18, 2017, from Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org.
Shield of Cuenca (Ecuador). (nd). Retrieved on December 18, 2017, from Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org.
Five Great Traditional Festivals in Ecuador. (November 14, 2013). Retrieved on December 19, 2017, from International Living: internationalliving.com.
Easter week. (nd). Retrieved on December 19, 2017, from Lonely planet: lonelyplanet.com.
Ecuador Day of the Dead. (nd). Retrieved on December 19, 2017, from Life in Ecuador: life-in-ecuador.com

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