Celebrations are very important in Ecuador.

Before the Spanish conquest, they were organized according to the solar cycle and the agricultural calendar. The Church then integrated those of the indigenous communities with its own festive days. Today, they are a blend of Indian beliefs and Catholic traditions.

What are the celebrations in Ecuador?

Ecuador’s celebrations are a succession of parades, processions, masses and pilgrimages. The most important festival in Ecuador is Carnival, whose local specialty is filling balloons with water and spraying oneself with it. During Holy Week, processions are always very colorful, especially in Quito.

The most important tradition is eating fanesca. This is a hearty meatless soup made from 12 ingredients symbolizing the 12 apostles. The main festive date for Indian communities is November 2, symbolizing the Day of the Dead. It is believed that the spirit of the dead visits the living members of the family and is fed before continuing its journey to reincarnation. For this purpose, a number of dishes are prepared, including small figurines baked from bread, which are then placed on the grave of the deceased.

Calendar of public holidays in Ecuador

JANUARY

  • 01 to 06 – Diablada in Pillaro (Tungurahua)
  • 06 – Fiesta del Niño Azuay, Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Manabi
  • 06 – Run of the Flowers in Ambato
  • 07/08 – Gobierno de Mujeres in Esmeraldas
  • 20 – San Sebastian in Pifo (Pichincha) and Tufiño (Carchi)

 

FEBRUARY

  • Carnivals in all towns – various dates
  • Flower Fair in Ambato
  • Ceramics Fair in La Victoria (Cotopaxi)
  • Virgen de Agua Santa in Baños
  • 28 – Uwi Festival -Shuars and Ashuars – (Morona Santiago)

 

MARCH

  • 03 – Fishing and Crafts Festival in Galaceo (Azuay)
  • 10 – Ovo Festival in Ambuqui (Imbabura)
  • Holy Week and Palm Sunday
  • Good Friday Procession – Quito

APRIL

  •  21st – Riobamba Festival
  • 22 to 25 – Fiestas de la Chonta in Archidona (Napo)

 

MAY

  • 11 – Puyo Festival (Napo)
  • 24 – Battle of Pichincha – Quito

 

JUNE

  • Pujili folk festivals
  • Around 21 – Inti Raymi: sun festival (Imbabura, Cañar regions)
  • 24 – Midsummer festivities: dancing, bullfighting (Imbabura, Chimborazo)
  • 28/29 – St Peter and St Paul in Alausi (Cayambe), Pomasqui, coastal villages

JULY

  • Cayambe Festivities
  • 25 – Del Chagra walk in Machachi
  • 25 – Guayaquil Festival

 

AUGUST

  • 09 – Ambato Festival
  • 19 – Corazas de San Rafael (Imbabura)
  • 30 – Santa Rosa langoustine festival (El Oro)

 

SEPTEMBER

  • 2nd to 8th – Yamor Festival in Otavalo (Imbabura)
  • Early September – Fiestas de la Virgen de Guapulo (Quito district)
  • 8th – Jora Festival in Cotacachi, fairs in Milagro and Sangolqui
  • 24 – Banana Festival in Machala (El Oro)
  • 24 – Mama Negra festival in Latacunga (Cotopaxi)

OCTOBER

  • 9 – Guayaquil Independence Day
  • 12 – Rodeos in Vinces, Salitre, Olmedo and other villages
  • 18 – Independence Day in Porto Viejo
  • Monday and Tuesday of the 3rd week of the month – Festival of Santa Lucia and La Palla in Tisaleo (Tungurahua)

 

NOVEMBER

  • 02 – Day of the Dead
  • 03 – Cuenca Independence Day
  • 11 – (Saturday closest to this date) – Feast of La Mama Negra – Latacunga (Cotopaxi)
  • 21 – Feast of the Virgin of Quinche (Pichincha)

 

DECEMBER

  • 01 to 06 – Fiestas de Quito
  • 06 – Spanish Foundation of the City of Quito
  • 15 to 24 – Feast of the Virgin of Chigualo in Portoviejo (Manabi)
  • 24th and 25th – Christmas
  • 31 – “Años viejos”, Old Year’s Festivities

If you’d like to find out more about Ecuador, its festivals and traditions, we invite you to read the following articles: