Medellín’s Flower Festival: a pageant full of tradition

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Every year during the first days of August, Medellín is filled with flowers and parties for one of the most traditional celebrations in Colombia: the Flower Festival.

The Flower Festival is the city’s most important event, for it embodies all the values of the people of Antioquia. The festival lasts 10 days and it is part of the Colombian cultural heritage.

The Silleteros Pageant, the festival’s main event, began when Arturo Uribe Arango, from Medellín’s Office for the Promotion of Tourism, invited 40 silleteros from Santa Elena (Antioquia) to decorate the festival’s first edition in 1957.

Silletas are wooden pieces with handles that are filled with bounteous amounts of flowers and carried on people’s backs. Their origin goes as far back as to colonial times when they were used to carry people around the region’s mountains.

In the beginning of the XX Century they were used by peasants to carry flowers from Antioquia’s towns to Medellín, where they were sold. Although silletas are no longer used for commerce, they represent the region’s tradition.

A festival for everybody

The festival holds touristic activities such as the classic automobile parade, the National Equine Fair, the Troubadour National Festival, the Sound on Wheels Championship and the Orchestra Festival.

This year’s edition will hold over 150 events, many activities and concerts between August 3 and 12.

Over 4.000 foreign tourists, and 10.000 Colombian tourists from overseas are expected every year.

Discover all the Colombian sabrosura in the Flower Festival in Medellin.