Colombia is a gorgeous country, one that’s colorful in a literal and a figurative sense. lt’s also uniquely itself and quirky in certain ways. Some of these quirks, whether cool or colorful or both, are easy to notice when traveling there.
Here’s just some of what I encountered…
1. The Pinwheel/Sweets Festival
When I first stumbled onto this festival, in San Antonio, Cali, I thought I was Alice in Wonderland. Was I in the middle of some sort of trippy pinwheel festival? There were thousands of them everywhere!
What I didn’t realize was that there were also sugary candy figurines and confetti mixed in with the pinwheels as part of a special bouquet that godparents give to their godchildren to celebrate the “Day of the Godchildren.”
It’s a special tradition and the celebration itself is known as the Festival de la Maceta. I happened to be in the neighborhood in Cali known for the festival–San Antonio–and so, it’s taken quite seriously there. There are a number of stores that sell macetas only or primarily.
Oh, and by the way, I think, but I’m not sure (my Spanish is pretty good and I googled it, but I’m unclear anyway) that the pinwheels themselves are actually candy, too.
2. Dogs in Soccer Shirts
Colombia did quite well in the World Cup and people were celebrating while I was there. So were the dogs. Or the owners wanted it to look that way–or maybe just for their pets to share in the fun. I have a feeling people dress up their dogs this way any time their team is playing in an important match.
3. The Church That Changes Colors
This church in Salento–Nuestra Señora del Carmen–sort of blew my mind. One night, while sitting nearby and eating some street food, I noticed that it changed colors. First, it was white (which it really was). Then, it became reddish pink, then teal, then purple, blue…yellow, etc.
Was this a flashback to the Pinwheel Fest? Nope. According to some locals, it is part of an annual religious celebration related . While and after the lights/colors changed, a procession made its way through town and the streets full of the locals. Glad I got to see it.