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Exploring Feria de las Flores: Colombia’s Unimaginable Flower Pageant

Summer season in Colombia is filled with encanto (enchantment) and delight. Whether or not you’re a flower fanatic, a culture-seeker, or adventurer, we encourage you to plan your journey across the vibrant world of Colombia’s Feria de las Flores (flower pageant). A panoramic invitation to expertise tradition and custom by way of a floral fiesta, this feast for the eyes brings the flourishing of the soul. 

The town of Medellín is in full swing by late July, placing the richest colours of life on show for round 10 days. For months, caretakers painstakingly curate every bloom with a view to domesticate not solely the attractive flowers, however the pleasure of locals and guests. There are over 140 public occasions in 35 areas, so you possibly can take your decide (pun meant) of actions. 

One of many largest festivals in Colombia, the Feria de las Flores options over 3000 native, nationwide, and worldwide artists becoming a member of in to entertain with music, folkloric dance, parades, and pageantry. Whereas the expertise is ephemeral, like a flower, the impression can be perpetually. Come for the creativity, festivities, and meals, and depart with part of Colombia eternally in your coronary heart!

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The origins of Feria de las Flores

This pageant has roots going again to the colonial period, nevertheless it has since grown to rival such well-known fiestas as Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, or Pageant de la Candelaria (Candlemas Pageant) in Perú. 

One of many most important occasions of the pageant emerged from an historic apply of carrying items (and the rich!) on picket buildings known as silletas, associated to the phrase silla (chair). Sturdy and hard-working laborers (together with compelled laborers in accordance with some reviews), would carry the silleta with a great deal of items or folks on their backs, up and down the steep paths by way of the Andes area. These heavy masses typically included massive portions of flowers to be offered on the town. 

From the early 1900’s, flower cultivation was the important thing financial alternative within the Medellín space. The town, situated within the division of Antioquia, earned its moniker because the “Metropolis of Everlasting Spring” due to the sumptuous local weather conducive to year-round flower cultivation. By 1930, the town was the second-largest exporter of flowers, after the Netherlands. 

The primary official pageant was held in 1957, promoted by the town’s Tourism workplace, led by Mr. Arturo Uribe Arango. It lasted 5 days, however has now doubled to 10!


When is Feria de las Flores? 

The Feria (truthful, pageant) is held every summer season, with pre-fair festivities starting in mid-July, and official Feria occasions from late July into early August. It was initially conceived presently to coincide with the day of Independence of Santa Fe de Antioquia from Spain on August 11, 1813. 

Intrigued? It will be smart to e book journey and lodging effectively prematurely, as this occasion attracts tens of hundreds of visitors from across the globe. You can begin to make your particular itineraries as quickly as the town of Medellín publishes this system of occasions, an over 100-page doc that’s simply as superbly introduced because the pageant occasions themselves. 

How is Feria de las Flores celebrated at present? 

The pageant has grown from a modest celebration of a historic custom to a full-blown cultural extravaganza with intricate floral masterpieces, soul-stirring rhythms, basic automotive parades, a bike rally, a glamorous magnificence pageant, and different contests and live shows.

You’ll be part of crowds from world wide to witness the connection between generations of locals to the satisfaction and historical past of their campesino (rural peasant farmer) roots. This celebration of life itself additionally generates an essential variety of vacationer {dollars}, respiration life into the native financial system.

You will see actions associated to the Feria de las Flores all through Medellín and the encircling areas, together with in parks, museums, malls, zoos, aquariums, bars, and eating places. Regardless of your leisure preferences, each location will bloom with the spirit of celebration!

Desfile de Silleteros parade 

Nobody visiting Medellín desires to overlook the primary occasion, which is why the Desfile de Silleteros (Silletero Parade) attracts over 800,000 spectators every year. The parade has deep historic ties to the silletas and those that carried them, relationship again to colonial instances. 

Artisans created silletas, picket buildings with handles, on which to hold items and members of the upper social courses on their backs. The silleteros (those that carry the silletas), would most notably make the 22 kilometer journey from the city of Santa Elena to the middle of the town of Medellín. Through the years, they might compete to adorn their silletas with probably the most interesting flowers. 

The fruits, greens, and flowers that they carried have been destined on the market on the contemporary market, Placita de Flores, which opened in 1891 and nonetheless operates at present! Pop in to expertise contemporary baked delights, cheese, meats, espresso, and different delicacies, in addition to handmade baskets, candles, and different souvenirs.

The Desfile de Silleteros is the ultimate occasion on the final day of the pageant. Over 500 silleteros of all ages will stroll a 2.4 kilometer route, cheered on by followers and guests. They carry a number of types of silletas: 

  • Conventional: Easy and closest to the earliest kinds, these carry a minimal of 15 contemporary flower varieties. 
  • Emblematic: Dried flowers show a message of civic, non secular, or instructional curiosity. 
  • Monumental: Like the standard silletas however bigger, heavier, and with at the least 20 contemporary flower varieties. 
  • Company or Institutional: Manufacturers take part with sponsored silletas however might not compete within the judging. That is the one time dyed flowers are used. The remainder are pure colours solely!
  • Inventive: These are generally 3D and have fewer limitations. 

For those who can’t make it to the parade, will probably be televised, and lots of silletas can be on show to the general public for just a few days afterward.

Chiva Carnival

Chivas are brightly-colored rustic buses which might be adorned and elaborately painted for parades and events. It’s a fierce competitors to face out and be the profitable chiva! You may line up tremendous early to get tickets to experience in the course of the parade. Not solely are you a part of the magical (and loud!) environment, you possibly can spray and be sprayed with carnival foam, play noisemakers and horns, and dance to the music. This environment isn’t for delicate ears, as music, sirens, revving engines, marching bands, and merrymakers compete to fill any hole within the soundscape! 


Issues to know earlier than you go 

  • E book early! Up to now a number of years, because the breathtaking photographs of the festivities make connections and encourage journey desires world wide, resort lodging within the space have been utterly booked. 
  • Take public transportation. Crowds collect early and parking is proscribed. The metro may be crowded, nevertheless it’s simpler to catch than a taxi or rideshare, as site visitors patterns are affected and roads are closed for the festivals and parades. 
  • Observe native rules on alcohol. Ingesting is forbidden in some public areas, and ingesting hours differ by location. These hours are prolonged in the course of the pageant, however be respectful of instances.
  • Obtain this system information. The town of Medellín’s official web page publishes a useful doc that particulars the entire attainable actions, however all occasions and instances are topic to alter after publication.
  • Make the most of free occasions! Lots of the occasions on the Feria de las Flores are free and non-ticketed.This additionally means massive crowds and first-come first-serve seating, so be very early to something essential to you.
  • ….or splurge! You may e book fancy meals, helicopter excursions, and even vacationer packages prematurely.
  • Anticipate crowds. Tickets for the most effective seating is pre-sold and sells out regionally inside hours. These aren’t offered overseas except you’ve gotten a good journey agent as part of a package deal. Purchaser beware, even the premium seats are seemingly overbooked, so you continue to must arrive very early or danger not having a seat in any respect, even when you paid for one. 
  • Don’t attempt to see all the pieces! There are actually dozens of occasions every day, so use the official program information to plan your highlights, after which let spontaneity information you to good experiences alongside the way in which!
  • Be alert. Any time there are crowds, there are pickpockets (regardless of the place you journey). Hold solely the property you need to have in your individual, preserve all the pieces very near your physique, and control one another. 
  • It’s extra than simply parades! There’s a lot to see, together with:
    • Excursions
    • Artisan markets
    • Floral and artwork exhibitions
    • Concert events, each small and large! Carlos Vives and Shakira have headlined in previous years. 
    • Dance contests
    • A pageant
    • A bicycle parade
  • You should buy your self flowers! No, you in all probability can’t take them again house, however they’re price having fun with throughout your journey. There isn’t any scarcity of long-lasting recuerdos (souvenirs), however don’t neglect a pleasant contemporary bouquet of the best blooms on the planet to get pleasure from whereas they final!
  • Go to Santa Elena to see the silletas as they’re being constructed. 

Flower festivals world wide 

Observe the blooms to your favourite vacation spot! Listed here are a number of common flower-themed shows and occasions across the globe. 

Ambato, Ecuador: Pageant of Fruit and Flowers 

Held in February, the town of Ambato hosts parades, culinary occasions, cultural performances, and fruit and flower exhibitions! Regional vegetation lean tropical, so that you’re certain to loads of distinctive parts, together with guanabana or soursop, the nationwide fruit of Ecuador! 

Brussels, Belgium: Brussels Flower Carpet 

Held each two years in August, the Brussels pageant options an intricate show exquisitely crafted to replicate a theme of Belgian tradition. It’s illuminated at night time and solely on show for just a few days!

Chiang Mai, Thailand: Chiang Mai Flower Pageant

Sometimes held in February, Chiang Mai options road distributors, parades, and cultural performances in addition to backyard competitions. Buak Hat Park is remodeled into a shocking floral show. 

Be taught extra about Colombian tradition with Rosetta Stone

We’ve barely scratched the floor of the magic of Feria de las Flores and the broader Colombian heritage it places on show. Festivals in Colombia are an invite to experiences as various because the wildlife of this unbelievable nation. 

Whether or not you’re up for a stroll by way of peaceable parks, typical vacationer actions like museums or purchasing facilities, or the festive pleasure of the parade scenes, summer season in Medellín brings collectively a bouquet of colourful experiences at Feria de las Flores.  

You’ll really feel most ready when you can comprehend schedules, indicators, and applications in Spanish! This system information has 100 pages of data and addresses, however no English translation.  Constructing your confidence with primary Spanish phrases and phrases forward of time can open the door to a whole lot of actions and a easy itinerary!

Rosetta Stone can assist you grasp on a regular basis phrases and essential journey vocabulary. You’ll even have the chance to refine your pronunciation in each lesson with TruAccent, which is constructed into each lesson. You received’t get language studying like this wherever else. 

Written by Jamie Edwards

Jamie is a learner and instructor of Spanish and French. When she’s not studying new phrases, you’ll discover her on the soccer sidelines, ski slopes, and monitor and subject bleachers having fun with the 4 seasons of Western New York.



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