A tour through the most representative cultures, rituals, and traditions of Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru
Latin America is characterized for being a territory of a great multicultural richness, in which popular celebrations that bring together the best of the traditions of each region and their race are celebrated in different dates of the year. The festivals are prepared months in advance to expose visitors the most beautiful and emblematic of their dances, music, costumes, costumes, comparsas, among other events that are part of the customs left by the ancestors as invaluable legacies that transcend in time.
Starting this August 3, this is a tour of Latin America where you can visit these emblematic festivals:
Flower Fair in Colombia, August 3 to 12
The Feria de las Flores is a traditional celebration that takes place in Medellín, Colombia. As Colombia.com reminds us, the first Feria de las Flores was directed by Arturo Uribe Arango in May 1957, a member of the city's tourism office. Uribe's intention was for the capital of Antioquia, Medellín, to offer a tribute to Colombia's flowers, since its production and marketing were increasing. In the beginning, the fair was called "The Flower Festival", which was held in the month of May in just five days. The Silleteros Parade is the most important event of the fair and its origin comes from the wooden "silletas" of the 19th century, which were used as a means of transport to load people.
As time went by, the first roads and highways were built for the cars, then the silletas were transformed into floral arrangements - flowers cultivated by peasants of Santa Elena -, to be transported on the back of a "silletero" who had as objective to distribute them and sell them in the city. For this reason, Uribe called the silleteros of Santa Elena to be encouraged to participate in the party and this is how the most emblematic event of the fair that hundreds of nationals and foreigners attend to enjoy musical concerts, symbolic parades, cultural exhibitions and private parties.
La Mama Negra in Ecuador, end of September and then in the week of November 11
La Mama Negra is a traditional festival that is celebrated in the town of Latacunga at the end of September and in the week of November 11, in Ecuador, where the Spanish, Aymara, Inca, Mayan, and African cultures merge, according to Ecuador.com. The festivity has its origin because the Cotopaxi volcano erupted in 1742, then its inhabitants begged the Virgen de las Mercedes, the patron saint of Cotopaxi, to save Latacunga from destruction. As the region survived the fury of the volcano, the natives established the celebration to pay homage to the Virgin.
During the festival of the Black Mama people gather to accompany the parades that exhibit characters of the pre-Columbian culture as the Moorish King, the Angel of the stars and the Huacos. To the present ceremony, the Camisonas have been integrated that show striking costumes, musicians, dancers, itinerant bands to conclude with the presence, on horseback, of the Black Mama, who carries some dolls that symbolize their children. The Virgin spreads milk, water, sweets, and wine among the crowd for her well-being. This party extends until night.
Day of the dead in Mexico, November 2
The Day of the Dead is a tradition that comes from the pre-Hispanic era in Mexico, for the indigenous people death is a vital duality that is part of the cycle of nature. With the arrival of the conquerors, the cult of death was united with the Catholic religion, this cultural integration gave birth to the Day of the Dead, an annual ceremony that takes place the first days of November. Thus, the first day, tribute is paid to the souls of the children and the second to the souls of the adults.
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During these dates, the tombs are adorned with flowers and in the homes, altars are created that are decorated with food, liqueurs, candles, photographs, music, among other personal items of the deceased. The relatives elaborate these gifts with great devotion to evoke those who are no longer. The sweet skulls or Catrinas, the pan de muerto, the flower of the cempasúchil, the illustrations that mock death and the ironic verses about personalities of politics, arts, and sciences are very representative elements of this popular tradition.
Inti Raymi in Peru, June 24
The Inti Raymi that translated from Quechua means "Fiesta del Sol" is one of the most outstanding festivals during which Inti or Sun God is worshiped, the symbol of the greatest admiration of the Inca culture. This celebration takes place on June 24, at the winter solstice. As an Inca tradition, the Inti Raymi is still in force among several indigenous communities that inhabit the Inca territories, such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and northern Argentina.
The event is held in three stages each year: in the Chukipampa esplanade in the archaeological complex of Saqsaywaman, El Qorikancha or "Cerco de oro" and in the Plaza Mayor of Cusco. The people of Cusco prepare for this special date well in advance to see four of their representatives parade with the typical costumes and the ñustas, coyas, and pallas, that is, the queens and princesses of the Inca Empire, to the beat of the music. Finally, the Inca appears, transported on a litter, accompanied by his escort. This information is taken from Peru Travel.
Festivities in Latin America integrate a great diversity of cultures such as Spanish, indigenous and African, of which rituals, traditions, and symbols that express the idiosyncrasies of the people are preserved. Would you do this tour of traditional festivals?
LatinAmerican Post | Claudia Patricia Acosta Aguilar
Translated from "4 fiestas populares para visitar en América Latina entre junio y noviembre"