Festival of the Flowers in Medellín

Festival of the Flowers in Medellín
Photo: feriadelasfloresmedellin.gov.co
The Festival of the Flowers (Feria de las Flores) is an annual flower festival held in the Colombian city of Medellín. It is the most important social event of the year for the city and includes colorful flower arrangements, a flower parade, a Paso Fino horse parade, musical concerts, and more.

Medellín is the second-largest city in Colombia. One of its nicknames is the City of Flowers because Medellín is famous for flower-growing. The Festival of the Flowers celebrates the city’s flower-growing industry and the beauty of thousands of blooming flowers.

Feria de las Flores originated as a procession of silleteros. The silleteros were the porters used by colonial officials to carry them and their belongings across the Quindio pass in the Andes. They carried colonial officials in wickerwork chairs mounted on their backs. The silletero tradition still exists in parts of the Colombian Andes, where it is considered an important part of the cultural heritage, although now silleteros don’t carry passengers anymore, only goods.

The Silleta Parade that takes place during the Festival of the Flowers is a nod to the silletero tradition. Its participants carry silletas filled with beautiful flower arrangements. The first parade was organized by Arturo Uribe, a member of the Board of the Office of Development and Tourism. It took place on May 1, 1957. The following year, the event was moved to August in order to celebrate the independence of the Department of Antioquia.

What started as a one-day event, has grown to become a ten-day flower festival, filled with beautiful flower arrangements and exciting events. The Silleta Parade remains the main highlight of the festival. It features several hundred participants and has twice been recorded as a Guinness World Record, in 1996 and 1999.

Other events that take place during the festival include spectacular floral displays, the International Flower Pageant, the Paso Fino Cavalcade (the Paso Fino is a horse breed imported from Spain and widely bred in Colombia), live music, a classic car show, and more.

Festival of the Flowers in Medellín

Photo: James Caro




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