Monday is a holiday. Colombian holidays always sneak up on me. I usually find out when I go run my errands and everything’s closed. Even this first holiday of the year, Three Kings Day, caught me by surprise.
We don’t celebrate Three Kings Day in the states, but in Latin America it can be as popular as Christmas. I think of it as a late Christmas. The Kings were traveling by camel and got to the manger as fast as they could. They didn’t have the benefit of a magic flying sleigh or of a Rudolf with a beaming red headlight nose. Anyway, Three Kings Day is usually January 6th. But to get a long weekend out of the deal, this year Colombia celebrates it on Monday, January 8th. They also call it Epiphany.
Another point of curiosity regarding Colombian holidays: most folks don’t know what any given holiday is. With The exception of the aforementioned second Christmas. Folks only care that they have a day off from work. Because Colombia is a majority Catholic, most of these holidays that blend into each other are religious. Counting the individual days of Easter, Colombia celebrates 20 national holidays!
Here’s a list of them and when they’ll be celebrated in 2018. I’ve added a bit of information so that it’s more than just a day off from work, or a day on which errands can’t get done.
2018 Colombian Holidays
|Actual Holiday||2018 Date Observed||Holiday||Of Note|
|January 1, 2018||January 1, 2018||New Year’s Day||The burning of the doll, is the custom of burning the old year, which is represented by a life-size doll of a personality, filled with fireworks. At midnight January 1st, it’s set on fire. The current Colombian president is a favorite personality.|
|January 6, 2018||January 8, 2018||Epiphany (Three Kings Day)||Not that big a holiday in Colombia|
|February 7, 2018||February 7, 2018||Greggo’s Birthday||Not celebrated nationally … yet|
|March 8, 2018||March 8, 2018||Woman’s Day||Not a national holiday|
|March 19, 2018||March 19, 2018||Saint Joseph Day|
|March 25, 2018||March 25, 2018||Palm Sunday|
|March 25, 2018||March 29, 2018||Maundy Thursday|
|March 30, 2018||March 30, 2018||Good Friday|
|April 1, 2018||April 1, 2018||Easter Sunday|
|May 1, 2018||May 1, 2018||International Workers Day|
|May 10, 2018||May 14, 2018||Ascension of Jesus|
|May 31, 2018||June 4, 2018||Corpus Christi|
|June 8, 2018||June 11, 2018||Sacred Heart|
|June 29, 2018||July 2, 2018||Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul|
|July 20, 2018||July 20, 2018||Colombian Independence||Marked from 1810, Colombia’s independence from Spain is characterized by a period of internal struggles by the territory for independence that lasted until 1819.|
|August 7, 2018||August 7, 2018||Battle of Boyacá||Occurred on 1819, this decisive battle ensured the liberation of the territory that would become the country.|
|August 15, 2018||August 20, 2018||The Ascension of the Virgin Maria|
|October 11, 2018||October 12, 2018||Race Day||Basically, the day Columbus is said to have “discovered” Colombia. The name of the holiday changes from country to country, as do the connotations of what is celebrated and commemorated.|
|September 15, 2018||Day of Love & Friendship
(Dia de amor y amistad)
|While not a national holiday, this equivalent of Valentine’s is celebrated with all the trappings of the U.S. holiday by those who wish to get in a relationship or stay in one.|
|November 1, 2018||November 5, 2018||All Saints Day|
|November 11, 2018||November 12, 2018||Independence de Cartagena||Also celebrated nationally, the independence of Cartagena in 1811 marked a date on which the city declared its absolute independence from the Spanish empire.|
|November 23, 2018||Black Friday||Not a holiday anywhere. While Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in Colombia, Black Friday, the most popular shopping day of the year has managed to filter into the malls.|
|December 8, 2018||December 8, 2018||Immaculate Conception|
|December 25, 2018||December 25, 2018||Christmas||Christmas eve, the 24th is more important as families celebrate.|
|December 28, 2018||December 28, 2018||Day of the Innocents||Not a national holiday. The equivalent to the U.S.’s April fool’s day.|
Original source: http://www.colombia-sa.com/varios/varios-fiestas-1.html
The next one is the day of San Jose on March 19th. Now you can be ready.