La Feria en Mi Casa: Feria de las Flores
A festival of flowers, Feria de las Flores, in Medellin, Colombia.
Feria de las Flores ‐ a festival of flowers — is a big deal in Medellin, Colombia. Every August the city throws a huge celebration devoted to the beautiful blossoms. For an entire week Paisas, other Colombians, and tourists flock to the city to enjoy decorative figures, parades, flower exhibitions, concerts and parades.
I arrived in Medellin towards the end of the week, so I didn’t get to enjoy everything, but I did manage to take part in a few of the festivities…
Gigantes de Flores
Throughout the city, displays of gigantes — huge sculptures made from flowers — were set up in parks and squares. Alas, I only made it to see one of them (some were far from the city center), but I totally think I found the perfect design for my future home…
Almost every night there were concerts in Parque Pies Descalzos. Latin bands from throughout South America and the world played. I went two nights in a row and, each night, it rained. Hard. But no one seemed to care. Everyone put up umbrellas or bought $1 ponchos and continued to watch and dance salsa in the aisles.
For the flower festival, the botanical garden in Medellin featured creative displays of flowers. Some were traditional, showcasing perfect specimens of roses or orchids. Some were more creative, elaborate setups showing mannequins or tablescapes.
Desfile de Silleteros
The ultimate, and one of the biggest, events for Feria de las Flores is the Desfile de Silleteros. I watched the parade with new friends from my hostel and met a bunch of Colombians who poured shots of aguardiente down my throat and chanted “aburrido” to the viewers on the other side. This big parade winds through the city and features a grand display of silleteros: elaborate, heavy, flower-filled art pieces carried on the back to signify the colonial tradition of bearing loads on one’s back when other transportation options weren’t available.
Outside of the silleteros the parade was kind of a light version of gay pride parade…
p.s. This was the official song of the festival. And I’m not sure I will ever get it out of my head…