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The Barranquilla Carnival: The second largest carnival in the world celebrates its first decade as a world heritage site

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news-leisuredec02Known as the second biggest carnival in the world, this is one of the most important folklore and cultural celebrations in Colombia. Honored by UNESCO, the carnival of Barranquilla was declared as a World Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. During the four days of carnival, Barranquilla becomes a mix of ethnic diversity, merriment, dance, music, and entertainment where the streets turn into a sea of people that exudes joy and opens its doors to embrace and welcome everybody to join the party.

The Carnival is a multicultural fusion, were European, African and Indian cultures mix together to become a spectacular folk festivity. In this festival, Barranquilleros go out to the streets to show how each dance, folk group, and costume plays an important role which makes this celebration one of the best shows in the world, not only for watching, but for enjoying.

The new Carnaval Slogan “Para que lo viva todo el Mundo”

¡Para que lo viva todo el mundo! (“So that everyone can live it”) is the new slogan of the Carnival in its 2014 edition. It is an invitation to live and enjoy their tradition and diversity while admiring the warmth and skills of their people. From the 1st to the 4th of March, Barranquilleros and visitors from all around the globe will have the opportunity to enjoy several activities that the carnival has to offer.

Saturday, March 1

Batalla de Flores: Since 1903, this Battle of the Flowers is the most symbolic of all celebrations. When the first battle took place the typical carnival characters were incorporated: Rey Momo, María Moñitas, and Hombre Caimán. The Batalla de las Flores is a parade with floats, dance groups, and costumed groups. Among the latter, the following stand out: the marimondas, hooded figures with long noses; and the gigantonas, dwarfs with large heads. The parade is headed by a float from which the queen of the carnival throws flowers while dancing accompanied by a large entourage of princes and princesses.

Sunday, March 2

La gran parada: The Desfile de la Gran Parada (the great parade) takes place the following day, Carnival Sunday. The characters are the torito folk dances, the dance of the Garabato, and the dances of the hilanderas (spinners).

The two most characteristic dances of this parade are:


  • The Cumbia: A good example of the fusion of Indian, Black and White elements that simulates a couple courting and is characterized by the elegance and subtle movements of the woman’s hips to the rhythm of a tambora (a kind of drum) and a faluta de millo (a kind of flaute).
  • The Garabato: Which symbolizes the victory of life over death.


Monday, March 3

La gran parada de comparsa y fantasia: Negritas puloy, marimondas, Monocucos and groups, will parade on Monday at la Vía 40 on the third day of the Barranquilla’s Carnival. Creativity and luxury will be on this journey that starts at 1pm. More than 200 groups will display their timing, costumes and makeup.

Tuesday, March 4

La muerte de Joselito: It takes place the day before Ash Wednesday at the start of the Catholic Lent. Joselito is the most representative character of the Barranquilla Carnival; he symbolizes gaiety and festiveness, and dies after four days of intense partying. His body is cried upon and he is symbolically buried by the merry widows who shared his days of festiveness.

For more information about the Barraquilla Carnival, visit:


Calle 28A Nº 13A-15 Piso 36

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Fondo de Promoción Turistica PROCOLOMBIA

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