The carnival of the town of Riosucio, one of the most colorful and vibrant carnivals in Colombia, kicks off on January 4, continuing one of the oldest traditions in the country.
The bi-annual carnival, which takes place in the municipality of Riosucio in the Caldas department of western Colombia, began in 1915 when two rival villages, San Lorenzo and Quiebralomo, each with their own parks, churches, schools and everything else in between, merged together after a plea from each of the towns’ priests to form what is now known as Riosucio. The two villages gathered as one and celebrated after the priests declared that anyone who did not join would be punished by Satan himself.
In 1915, the tradition of burning an effigy of Satan became tradition in the carnival, as well as live music, traditional cuisine and a lot of dancing.
The tradition is enjoyed by people across Colombia as well as foreign visitors.
The first event of the festival is known as “The Decree,” which consists of humorous critiques of the people of Riosucio. This is followed by plays and other theatrical entertainment. Finally, people celebrate “La Chirimia,” a musical group consisting of: maracas, flutes and reeds, a bass drum and a snare.