|The Colombian calendar is full of festivals, carnivals
and fairs. Some celebrations are local, others are national. Some last
a day, others go on for several days. This means that almost every day
there is a festival taking place somewhere in Colombia.
Christmas, Easter and Corpus Christi are solemnly celebrated in many rural communities. Every village and town has a patron Saint's Day and certain cities have distinctive local religious festivals.
Colombians in Cartagena celebrate the feast of the Virgin of La Candelaria (Candlemas) in February. The statue of the Virgin, which is kept in the church of Santa Cruz on La Popa hill in Cartagena, is believed to have protected the city's residents from the plague and from pirates. On February 2, hundreds of pilgrims carry lighted candles and climb the hill to the church at dusk to pray.
|Colombians in Pasto celebrate "días
y negros" (black day) and "días y blancos" (white day)
in January. On one day they blacken each other's faces with grease, on
the next day they throw white flour or talcum powder at each other. In
February the city celebrates the Fiesta de las Aguas, when people drench
each other with water from buckets or hoses.
In Popayán, Semana Santa (Holy Week) in March or April is a very important celebration. Religious rituals are solemnly observed and processions circle the city streets on Thursday and Good Friday. During the week after Easter, the processions are repeated, but this time all the parts in the procession are taken by children.
|Many cities have special festivals each year.
Riosucio holds the Carnaval del Diablo (Devil's Carnival). Manizales
has a special festival called the Feria de Manizales. Cartagena
has a music festival called Festival Internacional de Música
del Caribe and Bogotá hosts a theatre festival, the Festival
Iberoamericano de Teatro. In Barranquilla there is a large carnival
during the four days before Ash Wednesday during which people parade in
streets in masks and costumes. Medellín has an annual flower festival