Fill out your data to get our latest news and publications








    Everything you need to know about the silleteros in Medellin’s Flower Festival

    Colombia is flower country, one of the world's biggest exporters of cut flowers with fields full of beautiful blooms.

    Every year the country celebrates its success at the Medellin Flower Festival and the stars of the show are always the silleteros, who have their very own parade. But who are Colombia’s green-fingered gurus?

    Who are the silleteros?

    The silleteros in the festival are flower vendors. They spend the rest of the year farming small plots of land on the misty mountain slopes around “The City of Eternal Spring” — Medellin in Antioquia — where they harvest their blooms and bring them to sell in nearby markets and plazas. The word silla means seat or chair in Spanish and comes from a time when local men, usually peasants, strapped wooden chairs on their backs to carry their produce, children and even local noblemen. Nowadays the word silletero is applied to anyone who carries something in a wooden frame on their back. (You may also read: Colorful Colombian Coral)

    What is the parade all about?

    True to tradition, the silleteros carry their precious flowers through the streets of downtown Medellin on their backs as part of their starring role in the flower festival, which is held every August. They were at the heart of the first festival, in 1957, when 40 silleteros turned up to parade. Nowadays around 500 participate in the Desfile de Silleteros (their dedicated parade) which most spectators consider the highlight of the flower festival chanting: “Cuando pasan los silleteros, es Antioquia que pasa.” (When the silleteros go past, it’s Antioquia that’s passing.”)

    Is Colombia really a “flower country”?

    The world buys about $1.35 billion worth of Colombian flowers every year, making the country the world’s second largest producer of cut flowers after The Netherlands. Around 75% of Colombia’s flower exports go to the United States which, in turn, receives about 80% of its flower imports from Colombia. Colombia also accounts for 60% of the carnations bought by Japan and has flourishing markets in Canada and Russia, as well as in Britain and other European countries. Key to Colombia’s success is its lack of seasons, which means flowers can be grown all year round. (You may also enjoy: Colombia’s 10 most exotic fruits)

    How can I join the fun?

    The Medellin Flower Festival is not just about flowers, it’s a week-long celebration that includes, besides the flower competitions and judging; antique car parades, horse parades, a pet walk, live music, dancing and more. The city’s streets throng with revellers and members of the crowd are not above climbing into nearby trees in order to get a better view of the parade. Don’t miss this unique celebration! (You can also enjoy: Colombia’s Top five souvenirs)

    5/5 - (1 vote)
    Artículos recomendados
    indigenous colombian culture in the most welcoming country in the world

    Colombia, a multi-ethnic and multicultural country

    The process of miscegenation in Colombia since La Conquista and the Spanish colony resulted in a diverse culture full of...
    Colombian music, Calixto ochoa, vallenato, colombian culture

    Five songs to celebrate the life of Calixto Ochoa

    Vallenato is one of the cornerstones of Colombian music and vibrates with the sentiment, tradition and folklore of the country’s...
    Teatro Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, classical music, Bogotá, Colombia

    Where to see classical music in Colombia

    Colombia is a famously musical country, but with all that cumbia, vallenato, ranchera, salsa, merengue and pop, you might be...
    Sancocho, colombian food, dishes, Colombia, typical food

    Top 5 Colombian Soups

    Colombia is a home-cooking country. Families are fond of preparing hearty meals, with fresh ingredients, to ensure everyone's belly is...
    Tejo, Games, Turmequé, Colombian games

    Colombia’s most beloved sports: Tejo and Chaza

    Football isn’t the only sport that Colombians go mad for. Across the country, local sports that have been played for...
    Colombian religious museums, Museums, Tourism, Religion

    Six museums filled to the brim with Colombia’s religious treasures

    Colombia has a vivid religious history and houses some of the most beautiful religious art, artifacts, furniture and jewelry in...
    Ugly Betty, Television, TV Serie

    The hit television series telling the world about Colombia

    Colombia loves its soap operas, known locally as telenovelas, and the country’s biggest hits tend to get everyone talking. But...
    colombian nature, condor, Blue Anole, jaguar, Pink Dolphin,Spectacled Bear, animals of Colombia

    Fascinating facts about Colombia’s favorite birds and animals

    Colombia is home to almost two hundred Andean condors and efforts are continuing to boost their population. Three pairs from...
    Gabriel García Márquez, Literature, Nobel of Literature, Colombian writer

    What was the Colombian rhythm that Gabriel García Márquez loved the most?

    Gabo’s life was surrounded by the sound of accordions and guacharacas that blend into a well-known Colombian music genre called...
    Featured Video Play Icon

    Discover FILBO, the International Book Fair of Bogotá

    Did you know that the International Book Fair of Bogotá is the most important of South America?