Colombians enjoy a long list of holidays (over 20). With a few exceptions, such as the Independence celebrations on July 20 and August 7, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, holidays are celebrated on the following Monday, creating a puente (literally bridge, or three-day weekend).

During Easter week and between Christmas Day and New Year’s, interior cities such as Bogotá and Medellín become ghost towns as locals head to the nearest beach or to the countryside. Conversely, beach resorts, natural reserves and parks, and pueblos fill up. Along with that, room rates and air tickets can increase substantially.

An Easter procession near Parque Simon Bolivar, Medellín, Colombia.

An Easter procession near Parque Simon Bolivar, Medellín, Colombia. Photo © Carlos Mora/123rf.

The following is a list of Colombian holidays, but be sure to check a Colombian calendar for precise dates. Holidays marked with an asterisk are always celebrated on the Monday following the date of the holiday.

  • Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day): January 1
  • Día de los Reyes Magos (Epiphany)*: January 6
  • Día de San José (Saint Joseph’s Day)*: March 19
  • Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday): Thursday before Easter Sunday
  • Viernes Santo (Good Friday): Friday before Easter Sunday
  • Día de Trabajo (International Workers’ Day): May 1
  • Ascensión (Ascension)*: Six weeks and one day after Easter Sunday
  • Corpus Christi*: Nine weeks and one day after Easter Sunday
  • Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart)*: Ten weeks and one day after Easter Sunday
  • San Pedro y San Pablo (Saint Peter and Saint Paul)*: June 29
  • Día de la Independencia (Independence Day): July 20
  • Batalla de Boyacá (Battle of Boyacá): August 7
  • La Asunción (Assumption of Mary)*: August 15
  • Día de la Raza (equivalent of Columbus Day)*: October 12
  • Todos Los Santos (All Saint’s Day)*: November 1
  • Día de la Independencia de Cartagena (Cartagena Independence Day)*: November 11
  • La Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception): December 8
  • Navidad (Christmas): December 25

Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Colombia.