Celebrating Heritage: 3 Amazing Folk Festivals in Colombia

Colombia is rich in history and culture and most tourists interested in the country are aware of its famous Medellin Flower Festival and Barranquilla Carnival. However, aside from these iconic events, the country also celebrates its most ancient folk heritage and traditions, through numerous events held throughout the course of the year. We've rallied up some of the most famous festivals in Colombia that celebrate folk traditions. They’re a treat for tourists, who thus manage to experience first-hand the history of an impressive country, brought to life before their very eyes, in colorful processions, animated by song, dance, and costumes.

The Ibagué Folk Festival
Every year in June, crowds gather in IbaguĂ©, Tolima, up in the Andes, to celebrate life, music, culture, and the centuries of musical heritage in Colombia. Locally, the city has become a landmark for its music scene – nary a day goes by without some form of celebration in this sense, be it a concert, a festival, or any other form of expression that goes to show the people there have music running through their veins. This festival takes place right before the two major religious celebrations of Saint John and Saint Peter. The city completely transforms itself for the party, with squares adorned for a feast and stages set up in all corners of the city. Check out the traditional costumes, listen to pasillos, bambucos and sanjuaneros and witness the locals dancing in folk garb – it’s a treat!

The Green Moon Festival, Providencia Island
In most places around the world, people want to forget about the wipe-out of entire populations, but on Colombia’s Providencia Island, a week-long festival is held to celebrate the memories of the indigenous populaces wiped out during the times of the British colonization. Through arts, crafts, and culture, the people on the island remember their heritage, alongside the many tourists who flock there for the event. If you’re in town for the event, don’t hesitate to visit Morgan Cave for a sample of genuine pirate stories, sample some seafood, and check out the local lagoon and Botanical Gardens. And remember: the African-Caribbean tradition there says that whomever dreams of the Green Moon will see one of their biggest wishes come true the next day.

El Desfile de Mitos, Danzas y Leyendas, Medellin
The county of Medellin in Colombia has a complex history, fraught with stories of violence and mayhem; however, each year on the 7th of Decembers, the locals gather to celebrate its most powerful and ancient myths, dances, and legends, both in the province’s capital city, as well as elsewhere in Antioquia and around the country. Some of the most famous myths you can see brought to life during this event are the Patasola, the Madremonte, the Sombreron, La DamaVerde, La Madre del agua and the famous La Llorona. Most of these legends are based on colonial figures alive at the end of the 19th century. The festival takes to the streets that night, starting from the local Teatro Pablo Tobon and usually ends by the Centro Administrativo La Apujarra. Local authorities estimate that the procession includes some 10.000 people each year.