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Ecuador Popular Festivals and Celebrations


At some point, a friend, who encourage me to go-  wrote me: “That to every place you go you’ll find a party of people.” How not want to find in every place I stepped on, a celebration with masks, music and movement? Thus, in Ecuador you will find several places with great energy celebrating important dates throughout the year.

The folklore, that word denoting various colorful ties that opens a cultural world: crafts, dances, superstitions and more lives in every religious, or ancestral party, those that date back before the arrival of the Incas and the Spanish.

The folklore, that word denoting various colorful ties that opens a cultural world

It is very common to find in popular and traditional festivities a mixture of cultural events, with colorful details, this repetitive beat with flutes, guitars and Lurkers which encourage all those who to be inserted in these meetings, even if it is by chance. Fireworks, mad cows, castles with fire, drinks and food will be part of these celebrations. This is a list of what you can celebrate in Ecuador:


Ecuador Popular Festivals and Celebrations


Inti Raymi Celebration

Los Diablos Human danzan en la fiesta al sol: Inti Raymi. Foto: Mitur.

Huma Devils dance ar the party to the sun: Inti Raymi. Photo: Mitur.

The summer solstice is celebrated to thank the god Inti (Sun) for the abundance of crops and Pachamama (Mother Earth)  for caring and blessing crops. Held on June 21 in almost all indigenous villages of the highlands.

The most acknowledged are registered in the provinces of Imbabura, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Canar, Azuay and Loja. The Inti Raymi festival is characterized by dancers wearing their heads decorated with mirrors, sequins and feathers; or in the way of Aya Huma (diabluma or diablo huma) this character can spin very close to you, with their double face masks.


La Mama Negra

It is in Latacunga, Cotopaxi province, where La Mama Negra, known as Santisima Tragedia (Blessed Tragedy) shows the indigenous, Spanish and African cultures of Ecuador. A magical ceremony that reveals the life of different peoples conceived in its mixture of cultures. The residents of this place also pay homage to La Virgen de la Merced (Virgin of Mercy) as a show of gratitude for favors granted. Is first performed in September, as a party of devotees and the second date is performed in the first week of November after the anniversary year of independence, or political party of Latacunga.


The Amazonic Chonta

The festival that reminds us the recovery from an accident: the case shown is the bite of a snake, a wound that can take you to uwishin (healer or wise old woman) who can use pepper and medicinal herb to wash the wound . It is celebrated in the month of May during the major production of chonta, an Amazonian fruit. In this celebration the women filled out laschankins (baskets), followed by the men that starts harvesting the fruits and collecting them. The preparation of the chont is what the night will get, where more than one will have his face painted with achiote, a seed that gives off a reddish color.


The Rodeo Montubio Costeño

It is in the province of El Oro, and in places like Pimocha, Vinces or Balzar, around the province of Guayas, where you can find “Rodeos Montubios”. Popular festivals are accompanied by lots of color, where riders compete and march, distinguished men, with their costumes that have the essential straw hat. Men compete, and the  “Criolla Bonita” is chose, the woman that will represent the various haciendas of the sector. The “Rodeo Montubio” takes place as a tribute to the Day of Interculturality and Plurinationality (Oct. 12.)

La fiesta del Rodeo Montubio se lleva a cabo durante todo el mes de octubre en la provincia de Los Rios. (Foto: Edu León)

The celebration of “Rodeo Montubio”, takes place throughout the month of October in the province of Los Róos. (Photo: Edu León)


Guaranda’s Carnival

A pure rhythm troop kicks off the most popular party in Ecuador. Thousands of people gather each year in the province of Bolivar, specifically in the city of Guaranda, for the party that is immersed in water and marking the carnival music. This religious festival is usually held in February and allows sharing with the locals their joy and entertainment, including dancing, laughter and games that make you forget the time.

Festival of the Flowers and Fruits

The streets of Ambato in Tungurahua province, become a runway. Allegorical cars, built by the residents of this city, pass through the neighborhoods that complement the landscape of the mountains. Held 40 days before Easter, the parade of the fellowship is completed with the election of the Queen of Ambato, besides the blessing of bread and fruit. It is a round accompanied by music and food.

The Diablada de Píllaro

The Festival takes place in Píllaro province of Tungurahua, every year from 1 to January 6. According to the legend, the groups represent a devil who came to America with Christianity. It is at this event where the indigenous jumps, dances and rejoices transformed into a devil, placing on his face large masks. This ancient festival is expressed in dance of all communities of the village, that in a circle show their pace and in their hands a doll, a liquor bottle and a handkerchief, are never absent.


Cassava Beer in Sarayaku

In the province of Pastaza, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, cassava beer is prepared and therefore there is a party for this. Women of ethnic Sarayaku collect cassava from the garden, while the men go hunting. The woman cooks cassava until it can be chewed. Then all get together and start to chew cassava with the sound of the drum, this give signals to the start of a celebration that brings the community to celebrate a ritual that takes place in February.


The Paseo Procesional del Chagra

Machachi in the province of Pichincha, welcomes visitors with chaps dresses, ponchos, scarves and hats. In July, the locals parade in with horses, along with acclaimed bands of the village to honor the founding of Mejia and their culture.


The Yamor

In Otavalo in the province of Imbabura, in September a festival is dedicated to celebrate a sacred drink: The Yamor. This is done with corn and serves to thank the Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) for its abundance, as well as being a tribute to La Virgen Maria de Monserrate (Virgin Mary of Monserrate). Here the mixture of beliefs is in sight.


The best vacation with Sunny Roads
Kathrin Flessner
Febrary, 2015 | Germany
[ + Visit Original Review Page ]

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