Festivities of Quito

Playing Cards

The festivities of San Francisco de Quito are celebrated to remember the foundation of the city. It was on December 6 in the year 1534 that Quito was founded by Sebastian de Benalcazar, in the same place where it is today. In August of the same year, a city was already founded near Colta Lagoon in Chimborazo Province with the name of Santiago de Quito. The festivities of the “Carita de Dios” (“God’s face”, Quito’s unofficial name) have been celebrated since 1956, with serenades and albazos (traditional music) in Quito. Since that year the festivities in Quito have been getting increasingly popular.

The bullfights were traditional on these dates until not long ago. International and national bull fighters came to demonstrate their skills in the ring and entertain viewers. Now this activity is no longer possible, after a referendum bullfights have been banned.
Nowadays the festivities start with the election of the Queen of Quito, then follow the parades through the most traditional streets of the city. Schools, high schools and public entities participate with different performances.

The neighborhood parties are also very typical: People of the neighborhood get together and organize a party with singers, dances, traditional games and the delicious hot drink “Canelazo”. It’s made with water, naranjilla, cinnamon, sugar and a bit of liquor. The “Mingas of quiteñidad” are also very important, the neighbors clean their neighborhood to make it beautiful and attractive for people who come to visit the city. And let’s not forget the traditional games like the 40, a card game, and the trompo, rayuela, cocos, bolas, and others. Also the contest of Pasacalle, another typical kind of music in Quito.

Here in Quito we are looking forward to celebrating “Fiestas de Quito” and will soon share some pictures with you!

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