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Happiness blooms as flowers flood Colombia’s Feria de las Flores 2020

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Scores of florists and flower aficionados flocked to the city of Santa Elena, near Medellin, on November 8 to take part in and show off their silletas—elaborate flower arrangements—at Colombia’s famed annual Feria de las Flores (festival of flowers).

According to reports, the Feria de las Flores and the flower arrangement competition held in Santa Elena this year was filled with hopes. This includes the hope to cheer the Colombians up as they battle with the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the participants, Carmen Cecilia Londono, said that the work she put in the flower arrangement for this year’s competition showed that “even with the serious issue of the pandemic, there is love to cultivate” to sustain them.

She also shared that the silletas reminded her and everyone else of their many dreams. According to her, these dreams defined their families’ sense of togetherness—with their children, spouses, and parents—despite their struggles.

This year’s winner, Francisco Quintero, also shared that the event holds a reminder for Colombians to keep looking for happiness. He said that within each silleta is a plea for everyone: “to not lose hope, to not lose faith, to believe that everything is going to come back the way it was before.”

History of Feria de las Flores

Colombia’s flower festival, according to reports, harks back to May 1, 1957. Arturo Uribe, a member of the Board of the Office of Development and Tourism in Medellin, pioneered the event. Later on, the celebration transferred to August in time with the liberation of Antioquia.

The festival also features a flower parade. The parade was originally a symbolic act representing the end of slavery at the corregimiento of Santa Elena. At the time, 40 men carried flower arrangements on their backs. It was reminiscent of slaves carrying men and women up the steep hills of Colombia.

For 60 years, the flower arrangement tradition slowly evolved. Later on, it turned into its current state as a prized event on the Colombian calendar.

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Always on the lookout for fun stuff to try, and great lifestyle stories to share. Writing about life and beauty since 2015.

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