Colombia 2023 Holidays: A Calendar of Festivos

Colombia is a vibrant and diverse country located in the northern part of South America. It is known for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and warm and welcoming people. In 2023, Colombia will be celebrating a variety of holidays that are deeply rooted in its history and traditions. These holidays are a time for Colombians to come together with family and friends to celebrate, reflect, and honor their heritage. From religious observances to national commemorations, the holidays in Colombia offer a unique opportunity to experience the country’s customs and traditions.

Key Takeaways

  • Colombia celebrates a variety of holidays throughout the year, each with its own unique traditions and significance.
  • New Year’s Day and Epiphany are celebrated with fireworks, parties, and the tradition of the Three Wise Men bringing gifts to children.
  • Holy Week and Easter are important religious holidays in Colombia, with many people participating in processions and church services.
  • Labor Day and Ascension Day are public holidays, with many people taking the opportunity to relax and spend time with family and friends.
  • Independence Day and the Battle of Boyacá are celebrated with parades, concerts, and cultural events, commemorating Colombia’s independence from Spanish rule.

New Year’s Day and Epiphany

The start of the year in Colombia is marked by the celebration of New Year’s Day on January 1st. Colombians typically celebrate this holiday with fireworks, parties, and gatherings with loved ones. It is a time for new beginnings and setting intentions for the year ahead. Following New Year’s Day, Colombians also celebrate Epiphany on January 6th. This holiday, also known as Three Kings’ Day, commemorates the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus. In Colombia, it is a time for families to come together and exchange gifts, as well as enjoy traditional foods such as Roscón de Reyes, a sweet bread ring often filled with cream or fruit. The holiday is also marked by colorful parades and processions in many cities and towns across the country.

Holy Week and Easter

One of the most important religious observances in Colombia is Holy Week, which takes place in the week leading up to Easter Sunday. This week is marked by a series of solemn and elaborate processions, reenactments of the Passion of Christ, and religious services. Many Colombians take part in these traditions as a way to express their faith and devotion. On Easter Sunday, there are joyful celebrations with church services, feasting, and family gatherings. It is also common for Colombians to participate in the tradition of “bathing the dolls,” where children take their dolls to be blessed at church as a symbol of renewal and rebirth. The holiday is a time for reflection, gratitude, and spiritual renewal for many Colombians.

Labor Day and Ascension Day

Holiday Date Significance
Labor Day First Monday in September Celebrates the contributions of American workers
Ascension Day 40 days after Easter Sunday Commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven

May 1st is celebrated as Labor Day in Colombia, honoring the contributions of workers to the country’s development and progress. It is a day for demonstrations, parades, and public events organized by labor unions and workers’ organizations. Many businesses and government offices are closed on this day, allowing people to participate in the festivities or enjoy a day off with family and friends. Additionally, Ascension Day is observed 40 days after Easter Sunday and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is a significant religious holiday in Colombia, marked by church services, processions, and special prayers. Many Colombians take this opportunity to spend time with their families and engage in acts of charity and goodwill.

Independence Day and Battle of Boyacá

Colombia celebrates its Independence Day on July 20th, marking the day in 1810 when the country began its struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. The holiday is celebrated with patriotic parades, concerts, fireworks, and cultural events that showcase Colombia’s rich history and heritage. It is a time for Colombians to reflect on their nation’s journey to independence and to honor the heroes who fought for freedom. Another important historical event commemorated in Colombia is the Battle of Boyacá on August 7th. This battle was a decisive victory for Colombian forces led by Simón Bolívar against Spanish royalist troops, ultimately leading to the independence of Colombia from Spanish rule. The holiday is celebrated with military parades, historical reenactments, and tributes to the brave soldiers who fought for Colombia’s freedom.

All Saints’ Day and Independence of Cartagena

All Saints’ Day on November 1st is a significant religious holiday in Colombia, dedicated to honoring all saints and martyrs. It is a day for Colombians to visit cemeteries to pay respects to their deceased loved ones, often decorating graves with flowers and candles. Many families also gather for special meals and prayers to remember those who have passed away. Additionally, the city of Cartagena celebrates its Independence Day on November 11th, commemorating the day in 1811 when it declared independence from Spanish rule. The holiday is marked by colorful parades, traditional music and dance performances, and historical reenactments that showcase Cartagena’s vibrant culture and heritage.

Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve

The holiday season in Colombia is a time of joyous celebrations, family gatherings, and festive traditions. Christmas Day on December 25th is a major holiday marked by church services, gift-giving, feasting, and lively street festivals. Many Colombian families come together to enjoy traditional dishes such as lechona (roast pork), tamales, and natilla (a custard-like dessert). The holiday is also celebrated with colorful decorations, lights, and nativity scenes that adorn homes and public spaces throughout the country. As the year comes to a close, Colombians eagerly anticipate New Year’s Eve on December 31st. This night is celebrated with lively parties, fireworks displays, and the tradition of burning “old man” effigies to symbolize leaving behind the past year’s troubles and welcoming a fresh start in the new year.

In conclusion, Colombia’s 2023 holidays offer a rich tapestry of cultural, historical, and religious celebrations that reflect the country’s diverse heritage and traditions. From solemn religious observances to joyful national commemorations, these holidays provide an opportunity for Colombians to come together with family and friends to honor their past, celebrate their present, and look forward to the future with hope and optimism. Whether it’s through colorful parades, traditional rituals, or festive gatherings, these holidays showcase the warmth, resilience, and spirit of unity that define Colombia’s vibrant culture.

Discover the best ways to celebrate Festivos Colombia 2023 with our comprehensive guide. From traditional festivities to modern events, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re looking for some delicious snacks to enjoy during the celebrations, check out Bangkok Jerky’s article on unique jerky flavors from around the world here. Their mouthwatering selection is sure to add an extra layer of enjoyment to your holiday experience.


What are the public holidays in Colombia for 2023?

In Colombia, the public holidays for 2023 include New Year’s Day (January 1), Maundy Thursday (April 6), Good Friday (April 7), Labor Day (May 1), Ascension Day (May 25), Corpus Christi (June 15), Sacred Heart (June 22), Independence Day (July 20), Battle of Boyacá (August 7), Assumption of Mary (August 15), Columbus Day (October 16), All Saints’ Day (November 1), Independence of Cartagena (November 13), and Christmas Day (December 25).

Are there any regional holidays in Colombia for 2023?

Yes, in addition to the national public holidays, Colombia also observes regional holidays that vary by department. These regional holidays may include events such as local festivals, historical commemorations, or religious celebrations.

Do public holidays in Colombia have fixed dates?

Some public holidays in Colombia have fixed dates, such as New Year’s Day and Christmas Day. However, others, like Easter-related holidays, are determined by the lunar calendar and may vary from year to year.

Are public holidays in Colombia observed nationwide?

Yes, public holidays in Colombia are observed nationwide, and government offices, businesses, and schools are typically closed on these days. However, some essential services, such as hospitals and public transportation, may remain operational.

Do public holidays in Colombia affect business operations?

Yes, public holidays in Colombia can impact business operations, as many businesses and government offices are closed on these days. Employers are required to provide employees with paid time off on public holidays, and those who work on these days may be entitled to additional compensation or time off in lieu.

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