End of the Year Carnivals in Colombia

While we have already told you a little about the many festivos that happen in Colombia throughout the year, in this post, we want to focus on the carnivals that are celebrated in Colombia during the months of December and January.

The first of these carnivals is the Feria de Cali, which takes place from December 25th to December 30th in the city of Cali. On the first day, December 25th, there is the Salsódromo, where 1250 dancers and 8 floats will open the carnival with a special homage paid to those countries where salsa is ever present. On the second day of the carnival, December 26th, there is a parade called the Cabalgata, where around 3000 horses are paraded around a 5km path through the city. On the third day of the event, December 27th, there is a parade of classic and antique cars, and on the fourth day, December 28th, there is the Cali Viejo celebration, where performers on stilts, carnival queens, flower arrangements, and salsa dancers will parade through the city. On December 29th, the fifth day of the celebration, there is a “White Concert” hosted by a departmental liquor company, and on the last day there is the Festival of Orchestras event, where many well-known musical groups and singers will perform a sort of closing ceremony for the carnival. Outside of these larger events, there are also smaller artisan fairs, food events, and other cultural activities going on all around the city.

For a full list of events during the Feria de Cali, and for information about purchasing tickets to certain events, check out the official website here: http://www.feriadecali.com/portal/cali/programacion

Three days after the Feria de Cali ends, the Carnival of Black and White in Pasto, the capital city of the department of Nariño. The Carnival of Black and White takes place during the first week of January, so in 2014 it will take place from January 2nd to 7th, with the official “carnival” events taking place January 4th-6th. Even so, there are some important pre-carnival events that begin as early as December 28th, such as the Day of the Innocents and the Parade of “Old Years.” The Carnival of Black and White is a product of indigenous celebrations coupled and mixed with Afro-Colombian influences, and it begins with the Castañeda Family Parade, a parade filled with elaborate dancers and groups dressed in costumes from previous centuries reenacting the arrival of a generous family—the Castañeda family—to Pasto. The Game of Black, also known as the “day of black,” is celebrated on the second day of this carnival, and everyone is expected to receive a little bit a black paint to participate in the celebration of humanity where races, social classes, and economic differences are ignored. The Magno Day, or “day of white,” is celebrated on the last day of the Carnival of Black and White. On the “day of white,” the city is covered in white powder and fantasy-like parades can be found all over the city.

Carnival of Black and White in Pasto, Colombia

Carnival of Black and White in Pasto, Colombia

For more detailed information, visit the official website here: http://www.carnavaldepasto.org/

Beginning while the Carnival of Black and White are being celebrated, the Feria de Manizales is the longest of the three celebrations we’ve mentioned today, lasting 9 days–January 3rd-12th. The Feria de Manizales was created in similar fashion to the Feria de Sevilla in Spain, and is the product of a meshing of Andean, Colombian, and Mediterranean culture1. It is, though, above all recognized and known both in Colombia as well as around the world for its bull-fighting tradtions1. During the Feria de Manizales, you will be able to attend bullfights, watch the International Coffee Queen beauty pageant, as well as see parades, discover regional handicrafts, attend concerts by well-known Latino artists, and listen to orchestra presentations.

The 2014 Feria de Manizales website is not full functioning, but keep checking back for up-to-date information when it is available here: http://feriademanizales.gov.co/#

Happy celebrating!

The Uncover Colombia Team


1http:// www.colombia.travel/en/international-tourist/sightseeing-what-to-do/history-and-tradition/fairs-and-festivals/january/the-manizales-fair


2 thoughts on “End of the Year Carnivals in Colombia

  1. Pingback: Boas Férias com Hermes « blog espirito bird

  2. Pingback: Rumbo a Cali, Colombia vía Bogotá desde New York City | The Sarcastic Cynic™

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