Black and White Carnival: paint yourself and discover Colombia

The Black and White Carnival is one of the most symbolic Colombian festivals, reflecting the cultural traditions of the region. It was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009, and every year it brings together tourists from abroad and locals from across Colombia.

This carnival takes place between the 2 and 7 of January in Pasto. However, a Pre-Carnival is held on December 28 and 30. On the first day, the Carnival of Water is celebrated, which consists of playful water fights with hoses, trash cans, and water balloons. On the second day, the famous Serenade to Pasto is performed, during which you can enjoy music from the best string trios of the Andean Region.

The official celebration begins with the Carnavalito and the Castañeda Family Parade. Witness provincial dances carried out by groups of performers of all ages adorned in traditional costumes. But the most memorable days of the carnival are the last ones. Participants paint their bodies black and white as they accompany the parade of floats. Finally, on January 7, the “Day of Guinea Pig” –one of the most important dishes of Nariño– is celebrated and the region’s gastronomy is put on full display.

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