Carnivals in Colombia

Carnivals are everywhere and Colombia is not an exception. Our carnivals where introduced by the Spaniards a long time ago and have elements from the European Culture as well as African and Amerindian. The most famous ones are Barranquilla’s Carnival, Blacks and Whites Carnival and The Carnival of the Devil. Do you want to know more about them?

Barranquilla’s Carnival takes place for four days preceding Ash Wednesday. It includes many music styles such as cumbia, porros, mapales, merecumbés and others. During these days the streets are covered by people dancing and of course drinking. The costumes can vary; they can be either individual or collective. This carnival was proclaimed in 2003 as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

In Pasto, Nariño, Blacks and Whites Carnival is the biggest and the most important Carnival in the South of Colombia. It takes place from the 2nd to the 7th of January. The carnival mixes the celebration the free day the black slaves had and The Three Kings day. The Arrival of the Castañeda Family is recreated on the 4th. According to some historians this family was very big and came from another city to Pasto with all their furniture. Therefore, on that day you can see people on the street carrying anything they have at home. The 5th is the Day of the Blacks, so everybody paints their face with special make up. The next day, the 6th is the Day of the Whites, thus people paint themselves again but now in white, they use mainly talcum powder or flour.

Carnival of the Devil has nothing to do with Satan. On the contrary, it’s a commemoration of unity between Quiebralomo and La Montaña’s habitants. After that every year this union was celebrated and in 1915 the image if the evil was adopted. This picturesque festivity is celebrated from the 2nd to the 7th January.

Black and White Carnival

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