Colombia has the highest number of festivals and celebrations than any other country. For this reason, Colombians are known for being very cheerful and having this love for partying; and it is true since there are carnivals, festivals, parties and celebrations as fishes in the sea.
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Yes, we celebrate EVERYTHING and, believe it or not, there is all kind of celebrations; furthermore, there is no other country which has as many holidays as Colombia.
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And this is how we Colombians are, we love to celebrate anything that we can. And all these celebrations and festivities throughout the country show just a little part of our big cultural and inherited diversity.
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Taking into account the wide variety and hundreds of festivals and fairs in the country, we have brought you a list with the biggest and most important ones so you feel encouraged to experience and enjoy one of them as well as getting to know the cheerful and celebrating face of Colombia.
Pack your bags, tickets and the best attitude to enjoy these festivities and celebrations of Colombia
Blancos y Negros Carnival
We start the year with one of the most important fairs and festivals in Colombia. This carnival is held in Pasto in the first ten days of the year. It?s very iconic because it is one of the most colorful, unique and beautiful carnivals. Its origin dates back to rebellion times in Popayan when the crown allowed the locals to celebrate one day in the year and they painted the white houses with black. Hence the name. In this carnival, every day has a different theme, such as Day of the Black (Día de los Negros) and Day of the White (Día de Los Blancos). Floats used in this parade are out of this world.
This is a fair celebrated in the coffee area of Manizales and it is considered as the best fair in America. It is inspired by the Seville Fair and there are more than 200 events held from the first weekend in January and it lasts for several days. There is room for everyone and everything in this fair: multiple parades, concerts with local and international artists, craft samples, ballad contests and, least but not last, the coffee parade.
Barranquilla Carnival (Carnaval de Barranquilla) ¡Quién lo vive es quién lo goza!
Carnival of Barranquilla is considered by the Unesco as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, due to its great cheerfulness, colors and above all, its folklore. It lasts for four days where the cumbiamba, the mapale, the Marimonda, the Monocuco, the NegritaPuloytake the streets and light the city up with a celebration that don?t seem to rest. The carnival has not a fixed date since it depends on the dates of the Holy Week, this festivity takes place the 4th day before Ash Wednesday.
The Vallenato Legend Festival (Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata) ¡Ay Ombe!
From Barranquilla, we take our sombrero vueltiao and head to Valledupar; world capital of vallenato. During the last four days of April, we celebrate the son, the puya, the paseo, and the meringue; the four characteristic vallenato rhythms. On these days, the palioneras parade is celebrated with national and international musicians; next, the main event is the ?accordion battle? where different accordion players compete against one another to be anointed King of Kings, the best accordionist will be crown as the new Rey Del Vallenato (Vallenato King). Try to rest and sleep well before the festival starts since these festival events go until dawn.
Bambuco National Festival in San Pedro?s Bridge.
It is celebrated on the long weekend with a holiday on Monday between June and July. In the Huila department, the city of Neiva welcomes hundreds of national and international tourists who arrive to celebrate and admire the local and autochthonous culture, music, gastronomy, and dances from this region of the country. Furthermore, not only by the beauty and importance of the dances and clothing but also because of the different delegations from different parts of the country, gathering little unique characteristics of different festivals and fairs of Colombia in one place, this festival has acquired a tremendous national relevance.
Fiestas del Mar
During 5 days until the 30th of July, the city of Santa Marta decks itself and celebrates the festivity of the Colombian seas. 5 days of celebration where everything revolves around the sea, food, music, sports, fishing, a beauty contest and, of course, different parades. This is a celebration where both locals and visitors from inside and outside the country come together in the Truly Magical City to celebrate that this place has it all and enjoy all of the activities offered to the public.
Fiesta de las Flores (Medellin Festival of Flowers)
Medellin, the city of eternal spring, is embellished with the best flowers to welcome every tourist in the most beautiful festival of Colombia. As the name of the festival implies, the main attraction is the flowers. They are exhibited over famous silletas (a chair-like contraption for carrying flowers on a person?s back) where locals use all their ingenuity and creativity to create spectacular designs that are meant to highlight costumes and traditions from this part of Colombia.
Cali Fair ¡Oiga mire, vea!
Last but not least, one of the most important fairs and festivals in Colombia takes place from the 25th to the 30th of December. Making our way to Cali, we arrive at this city to enjoy and get ready for New Year with the most energetic rhythm in the Pacific, salsa. This celebration has become an iconic Colombia attraction due to its importance and the number of visitors coming to attend every year. The main event, the Salsodormo, is the perfect moment to admire the best dancers from the different salsa schools performing the most spectacular shows. Also, besides the dances and music, there is also a spot for old car parades, handicrafts, gastronomy and much more.