It is the beginning of August, and in Colombia this time -more than any other time- means flowers.
As I've previously shared with you, Colombia exports most of its beautiful flowers to Australia, The US, Europe and Japan, but in August many lucky flowers will stay home to celebrate Feria De las Flores or Flowers Festival in Medellin, one of Colombia’s main cities with a population of 2.5 million people approximately.
This festival started towards the end of the 1950s in order to celebrate successful, thriving businesses that cultivated flowers, and over the last 60 years it has become a celebration of the particular cultural characteristics of the peoples of this area, what Colombians call the Paisa region. Unlike Australia, Colombia has very marked differences among its regions and inhabitants in regard to accents, cuisines, music, customs and mannerisms, and every region has its own way to celebrate their own way of life and history.
Feria de las Flores is celebrated for 10 days, and this year it will be held from the 3rd to the 12th of August, when many Colombians and foreigners will enjoy the beautiful and progressive city of Medellin with its balmy weather (17 to 28 C all year-round).
The events during the festival will vary: From music concerts with local and international pop singers, beauty pageants-of course-, delicious foods, and numerous parades. The most important being the parade of silleteros.
Silleteros are men and women who come to the Festival from tiny little towns to carry on their backs-during the parade- heavy flowers that have been carefully and laboriously arranged to represent landscapes, images, messages and the Paisa culture in general.
About 80 to 100 different types of flowers are used to create each of these arrangements and although the arrangements can weight anything from 50 to 120 kilograms, the silleteros march happy and proud for the 3.5Kms of the parade as the city blooms in colour and energy.
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