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Published: August 24th 2021
Another great experience on heygo garden festival programme. http://www.heygo.com
The tradition of silleteros has its roots back in the 19th century when people in the rural areas in Antioquia used these silletas (chair-like) devices to carry the sick and elderly.
Santa Elena flower growers were the first to use the silleta to carry flowers, vegetables and herbs to market in Medellín. And they used the silleta to take food and household items they bought in Medellín back to their homes.
The first Feria de las Flores, or flower festival, reportedly took place in Medellin in May 1957. The idea behind this event was to help promote the flower industry in Colombia. Colombia is the second largest flower exporting country in the world after Holland.
The first festival in Medellín lasted for five days, the first silleteros parade took place with about 40 men from Santa Elena carrying on their backs flower arrangements to the exposition site.
The following year in 1958, the month of the festival was changed to August. This was done to celebrate the independence of Antioquia.
Feria de las Flores is Medellín’s biggest annual festival and normally starts
in August. La Feria de las Flores 2021 (Festival of Flowers) has been scheduled for August 12 to 22 in 2021,
The now 11-day festival is a huge annual celebration of paisa culture.
Today August 22 is the main event, the Flower Parade (Desfile de Silleteros). Usually this is through the streets of Medellín but this will be held at the Atanasio Girardot Stadium.
Santi was lucky to get a ticket to the event and was at the stadium early in the morning, the actual judging and parade did nit happen until the afternoon but all the heygo voyagers were enjoying the music and chatting to Santi about the festival.
What a difference when I returned for the afternoon spot, the stadium was now full and the atmosphere was buzzing.
The silleteros were with cheers from the crowds as the winners were announced in the 5 categories. Commercial (advertisements) Emblematic (such as cultural symbols) Monumental (the biggest) & Junior.
Santi was able to get a seat in the shade due to the temperature but as the parade progressed he was able to move down to a lower level
so we could get a closer look.
People were prevented from getting too close to the displays but Santi was able to get as close as possible which was a wonderful finale to a great day.
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