The diversity of cultures is what strikes most people when they travel to Colombia

All this mix of Indian, African and Spanish influences has given life to a multitude of festivals where ancestral traditions are highlighted.

This does not prevent the country from offering many festivals with more contemporary themes.

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The Barranquilla Carnival

In Colombia, if there is one event not to be missed, it is the Carnival of Barranquilla, the most important folk festival in the country, but also the oldest.

About 50 villages take part in the preparations and parades that take place the last four days before Lent.

This event has been named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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Carnaval de Barranquilla

Semana Santa

To celebrate the “Semana Santa” which takes place at Easter, Popayan is the place where the events are the most important. Faithfuls and tourists attend the processions and other religious events such as a festival of holy music.

The town of Mompox, near the Caribbean coast, also organizes very beautiful celebrations for Holy Week.

  • Dates : From the 14th to the 20th of April 2019
semana santa popayan © Miguel VaronaPin
Semana Santa in Popayan – Photo © Miguel Varona

Medellín Flower Festival

In August Medellín‘s Flower Festival features huge parades of floats and companies, the highlight of which is the appearance of the “silleteros”, men carrying monumental flower arrangements on their backs. A magnificent festival that lasts a week and attracts the local population as well as many tourists.

feria de las flores medellin © feriadelasfloresmedellinPin
feria de las flores medellin © FeriadelaFloresMedellin

Cali World Salsa Festival

If you are in the Cali region in September, the World Salsa Festival is an event not to be missed.A festival with a great atmosphere and where you can admire some of the best salsa dancers in the world.

Take the opportunity to attend one of the many free shows.

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Ferias de Cali

Petronio Alvarez Cali Music Festival

Also in August, in Cali, the Festival de Musica del Pacifico Petronio Alvarez celebrates the music and especially the rhythms of the Pacific coast, influenced by the African music that the slaves imported when they arrived in the region.

Petronio Alvarez Music Festival Cali Colombia @wilberlareus ConPin
Petronio Alvarez Music Festival Cali Colombia @wilberlareus Con

Yipao Festival in Armenia

In the month of October, the miracle city of Colombia celebrates another year since its foundation. If you are someone who likes beautiful cultural landscapes and traditional festivities or tasting a delicious coffee, then the Yipao parade in Armenia is what you are looking for an excellent experience in tourism.

Yipao Festival Armenia Colombia @jose.danilo.j.rPin
Yipao Festival Armenia Colombia @jose.danilo.j.r

Carnival of Blacks and Whites of Pasto

The Black and White Carnival is Cultural Heritage of Humanity according to UNESCO since 2009. During the Carnival, tolerance and respect among the attendees are fundamental. In addition, the giant figures, made by local artisans, walk through the streets of the city.

It takes place between January 2 and 7, however there is a pre-carnival that begins on December 28. The celebration has several parts, among them the Carnavalito in which children between 6 and 14 years old participate; the parade of the Castañeda family; the day of the blacks in which people paint their faces black and the day of the whites in which they paint their faces white. These last two are the main days of the celebration.

carnaval de negros y blancos Pasto Colombia @JDlucerobPin
carnaval de negros y blancos Pasto Colombia @JDlucerob

Alumbrados de Medellín Christmas Illuminations

In December, it is absolutely necessary to attend the Christmas illuminations! Opt for Medellín, repeated winner of the Alumbrado Navideno competition. During this event, Colombia’s largest cities compete to decorate the banks of their rivers with exceptional illuminations.

Real moments of joy in perspective.

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El Carnaval del Diablo

The Riosucio Carnival, also known as the Devil’s Carnival, is a carnival that takes place every two years, in odd years, in Riosucio, Colombia, in January for five days.

It celebrates the union of two villages through the symbol of the devil.

The Carnival has its origins in the 19th century when Riosucio was founded, after a territorial dispute between the towns of Quiebralomo and La Montaña.

This devil has no biblical connotation and represents the cultural idiosyncrasies of the indigenous people, the slaves and the white Europeans who colonized these lands.

carnaval del diablo © joaquin sarPin
Carnaval del Diablo – Photo © Joaquin Sar

Other Important Events and Carnivals by city

Other events take place depending on the region:

  • Armenia: Coffee Festival in October
  • Bogota: Al Parque Rock Festival in July / Independence Day on July 20 / Anniversary of the foundation of Bogota on August 6 / Jazz Festival in September.
  • Barichara and Bucaramanga: September is the month of festivals (piano, fair, sculpture, cinema…).
  • Cali: Week of the Calidiversidad in June / Salsa Fair in December.
  • Cartagena: Summer Festival in June (concerts) / Independence Day on November 12th / Jazz Festival in December
  • Leticia: Jungle Triathlon in July / Scarecrow Parade in November
  • Manizales: Fair in January (election of Miss Café, street shows) / Theatre Festival in October
  • Medellin: Tango Festival in June / Festival of Troubadours in September
  • San Agustin: Film Festival at the Archaeological Park Auditorium in November
  • Uribia: 3 days of festivities (May-June) to discover the local gastronomy, dances and crafts.
  • Villa de Leyva: Festival of Lights on December 7th.

Events by Month

Calendar of fairs, parties, events, festivals and annual celebrations. Official civic and religious holidays in Colombia.

January

  • Negros y Blancos Carnival – Pasto – January 2 to 7, 2016
  • Feria de Manizales – Department of Caldas (Manizales) – From January 2 to 10
  • Hay Festival – Cartagena de Indias – Between January 28 to 31, 2016
  • Carnaval del Diablo – Riosucio – Caldas – From January 2 to January 7
  • Bullfighting Fair of Cartagena – Cartagena – Bolivar – From January 2 to 6
  • Tourism Fair and National and International Panela Festival – Villeta – Cundinamarca – From January 21 to 25.
  • Rice Festival – Aguazul – Casanare – January 20 to 24.

February

  • Macarena Bullfighting Fair – Medellín – Antioquia – February 5 to 14.
  • Barranquilla Carnival – Barranquilla – Magdalena – February 6 to 9, 2016
  • Carnival of Fire – Tumaco – Nariño – February 4 to 9.
  • Carnival of Forgiveness – Municipality of Santiago, Alto Putumayo – Month of February
  • Feast of the Candelaria – Cartagena – Bolivar – Month of February

March

  • International Film Festival of Cartagena – Cartagena – Bolivar – March 2 to 7
  • Holy Week in Popayan – Popayan – Cauca – March
  • International Orchid Exposition – Medellín – Antioquia – March
  • Iberoamerican Theater Festival of Bogota – Bogota – Cundinamarca – March

April

  • Book Fair – Bogota – Cundinamarca – April 19 to May 2
  • Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata – Valledupar – Cesar – April 26th to 30th.
  • Corrido Llanero Festival – Puerto Carreño – Vichada – April 3 to April 6

May

  • Wayuu Culture Festival – Uribia – Guajira – 27 – 29 May

June

  • Yipao Parade and Contest – Calarcá – Quindío – June 1 fortnight
  • Folkloric Festival of Ibagué – Ibague – Tolima – June 22nd to July 4th.
  • Folkloric Festival and National Reign of Bambuco – Neiva – Huila – It is held in the middle of June until the first week of July each year.
  • International Joropo Tournament of Villavicencio – Villavicencio – Meta – June 28th to July 4th.
  • International Joropo Tournament of Villavicencio – Villavicencio – Meta – June 28th to July 4th.
  • Mono Núñez Festival – Ginebra – Valle del Cauca – June Festivals in July
  • Colombiamoda – Medellín – Antioquia – July 6th to 28th

August

  • Feria de las Flores – Medellín – Antioquia – July
  • Villa de Leyva – Boyacá August
  • Summer Festival – Lago Calima – Valle del Cauca – August Bridge
  • Petronio Álvarez Festival – Cali – Valle del Cauca – August – August Bridge
  • Harvest Festival – Pereira – Risaralda – August

September

  • Bogota Jazz Festival – Bogota – Cundinamarca – September
  • Manizales Theater Festival – Manizales – Caldas – September
  • San Pacho Festivities – Quibdó – Choco – September
  • Festival Cuna de Acordeones – Riohacha – Guajira – September
  • Bonita Fair – Bucaramanga – Santander – September

October

  • World Coleo Encounter – Villavicencio – Meta – October
  • Mompox Jazz Festival – Mompox – Bolivar – October
  • San Nicolás International Fair – Cucuta – Norte de Santander – October

November

  • Independence of Cartagena and the National Beauty Pageant
    Cartagena – Bolivar – November
  • Folkloric and Cultural Festival of Santana Tropo – Boyaca – November
  • Festivities in the Month of December – Cali Fair – Cali – Valle del Cauca- December 25
  • The Golden Cimarron – Yopal – Casanare

December

  • Festival de Las Luces – Villa de Leyva – Boyacá

Now Your Turn

Now I would like to know, do you have any question ?

Or maybe do you have some information to add ?

Either way, let me know in the comments below

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