13 things you should know about the Flower Fair of Medellín
The Flower Fair (Feria de las Flores) is one of the most evocative festivals for visitors in Colombia. Every August this festival celebrates the importance of flowers in the culture of Antioquia. The epicenter of the celebration is in Medellín, but its history includes the entire region. We will learn about the origin of the Flower Fair, its curiosities and why you cannot miss out on this Colombian festival. Let’s look at 13 things you should know about Medellín’s Flower Fair.
1. Flower Fair: a tradition turned into a tourist attraction
The Flower Fair is a tribute to the region of Antioquia. Its flowers are the most symbolic and colorful representation of the values of this region. The Flower Fair reveals the essence of Antioquia’s inhabitants; through music, comedy, and gastronomy.
2. Flower Fair: the beginning
The Flower Fair started with the parade of silleteros. In 1957 this Colombian festival was born when a group of 40 Colombian peasants traveled from Santa Elena to Medellín. They loaded chairs with flowers on them, onto their backs, to show them in Parque de Bolívar.
3. Flower Fair: an immediate success
The parade was so popular that in a few years it became the Flower Fair. The Silleteros began to create designs, such as landscapes, with the flowers of Antioquia.
Every year thousands of people come to Medellín to enjoy the Flower Fair. The city opens its doors and offers all kinds of activities, from high-level concerts to vintage car exhibitions. Most of these activities are free.
4. The orchid is one of the queens of the Flower Fair
Colombia is the kingdom of the orchid and its varieties. Mostly of them can be seen the event “Orquídeas, flores y artesanías” in the Botanical Garden of Medellin. You could see 15.000 varieties of orchids and learn about this attractive flower. Also, you will find flowers such as roses, heliconias, begonias, lilies, camellias, sunflowers, fuchsias, bromeliads, lilies or tulips in almost 200 stands planned for the event.
5. The importance of the Silleteros at the Flower Fair
Silleteros are the true protagonists of the Flower Fair. They carry up to 70 kilos of flowers on their backs. The most used flowers are orchids (the National Flower of Colombia since 1936) evergreens, carnations or sunflowers. This Colombian Festival was declared a Cultural Patrimony of the Nation in 2015.
6. The Flower Fair at expert level: the meaning of the Silletas
The Silleteros transport flowers on silletas; wooden discs which are built by hand. If you want to look like an expert at the Flower Fair, you should know the three main types.
- Traditional: was used in the first Flower Fair. It’s small but contains up to 100 varieties of flowers.
- Emblematic: evokes a civic and educational message through national and regional symbols. It’s practically drawing with flowers.
- Monumental: the largest and most colorful. Its size can reach 2 x 2 yards.
7. Sancocho Festival
In addition to the Silleteros festival there are also other activities that highlight the character of Antioquia. One of them is the Sancocho Festival that is celebrated in Santa Elena 5 days before the Flower Festival begins.
On July 28 a traditional Colombian soup, Sancocho, is the protagonist of the Sancocho festival. Several citizens offer their dish to the attendees who decide which is the best soup. The soup is made from basic ingredients: beef, pork, chicken, corn, yuca and potato. A tasty way to start the Feria de las Flores.
8. Street of the artists
The Flower Fair promotes local artistic creation. To gather all its potential, several main avenues of the city are used. More than 600 artists from the area will perform in these main avenues. It is a new event this year that will surely discover the stars of the future.
9. The bicycle at the Flower Fair
There is an open bicycle tour of the city in which participants use bright colors and costumes. If you want to have a great time in the streets of Medellín with a pedal stroke, this is your event.
10. Flowers Fair: the countries with the best attendance
Most tourists come from these 5 countries. The United States, Mexico, Spain, Ecuador and Panama.
11. Place for children at the Flower Fair
Are you thinking about going to the Flower Fair, but you don’t know what to do about your kids? Don’t worry! There is a place for them too. Zona que suena will be celebrated on 11th and 12th of August. Here the youngsters will find an amazing amusement park.
12. The Mexico night at the Flower Fair
This year there will also be a night where Mexico will be the main character. Visitors can listen to Mexican music and enjoy a different night at the Flower Fair.
13. Flower Fair: a reason to learn about a unique culture
The Flower Fair is the open door to the culture and traditions of Antioquia. A cheerful and colorful Colombian festival that will show you a unique way of living in the world.
Medellín te quiere
If you go to the Flower Fair, you will become familiar with this phrase: “Medellin te quiere” which means “Medellin loves you”. These are the 13 things that you have to know. So, let yourself fall in love with Medellin.
You can also read: Tips for maximum enjoyment of the Flower Fair. 💐