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Ecuadorian Andean Region Festivities

As a result of the cultural diversity there are many festivities you can see, but if you don’t have a lot of time here are the ones you must experience. Andean Festivities.

As a result of the cultural diversity that this region has, there are many festivities you can see, but if you don’t have a lot of time here are a list of the ones you must experience.

  1. The Summer Solstice Festival: Inti Raymi

Celebrated on June 21st, this feast is celebrated to thank the Inti (God of the Sun) for the abundance of crops and the Pachamama (Mother Earth) for caring and blessing the crops.

  1. Festival of the Flower and the Fruits

It is celebrated 40 days before Holy Week (Easter). Popular for its parade floats, its music, and its traditional foods.

  1. Diablada de Píllaro

Held every year between January 1st and 6th, in Píllaro (Tungurahua).  The festival re-enacts the beliefs that a devil came to America with Christianity, so the dancers that participate wear large beautifully detailed devil’s masks.

  1. Pase del Chagra

Held in July, in the town of Machachi. The people of this town will parade on horses, along with the town bands. They will be dressed in zamarros, ponchos, scarves and hats.

  1. Yamor Feast

A traditional feast held in Otavalo, province of Imbabura, in the first weeks of September. It is a festival dedicated to the to a sacred drink, Yamor. The drink is made of seven types of corn, and it is served as a thanksgiving offer to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) for its abundance. It also is a tribute to the Virgin Maria de Monserrate.

  1. Mama Negra

 Held on two different dates in Latacunga (23 and 24 September, with a tribute to the Virgen de la Merced, and in the first week of November as an anniversary of the independence of Latacunga). The central character of the celebration is a man disguised as a black woman; but not any man, each year he is selected amongst respected and loved members of the community. Different masquerades characters accompany the Mama Negra: the angel of the star, the tiznados, the Moor King, the standard bearer, the yumbos, and others who distribute liquor to the attendees.

  1. Corpus Christi

A seven-day festivity held in Cuenca at the end of May, in honor of the body and blood of Christ present in the Eucharist.  Popular for its fireworks and for hosting the biggest traditional candy fair in Ecuador: dulces de Corpus Crhisti.

In Pujili, this feast is more characterized by its indigenous traditions. Called Corpus Christi or Octava de Cristo it is an eight-day celebration for thanking the Pachamama for the harvest. This festival concurs with the Inti Raymi, and the parades always have the presence of the dancers of Pujilí, who are characters disguised in colorful robes decorated with mirrors, and with head crowns that can weigh up to 20 lbs. A curious fact is that the mestizos carry the lighter head crowns, while the Indians carry the heaviest.

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