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Festivals List of Uruguay in 2018

Festivals List of Uruguay in 2018

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Probably the most people in the world don’t know much of Uruguay, this small Latin-American country. But who knows about it perhaps knows only the football or the cattle-commerce. Or else the Tango…

But nowadays Uruguay is the most trendy holiday destination in South America with many pleasant beaches, bustling fiestas and several traditional festivals in the capital, Montevideo, and in the rural areas everywhere in Uruguay. What is more, fiestas and parties for every possible occasion! Perhaps there is no such time of the year when we couldn’t find a reason to celebrate something. Because the souls of the Uruguayans are full of passion and music they create a festival of every and each one of their days, sing, dance, play or contest, eat and drink. Not to mention the fireworks!

There are many festivals and celebrations in Uruguay, the main official holidays are mostly the same than in the other countries of the world, such as:

Epifania – Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day 6. January

In Uruguay it’s the chief event of the Christmas festivity, like in Spain, in Uruguay it’s the day also when the three kings bring the presents for the children.

Carnaval – Carnival official beginning: 12. February

In Uruguay, the Carnival is the most famous and popular public fiesta. This event is the longest of the carnivals of the world, it’s duration is about 40 days. The official beginning of the festivity was in this year in 12. of February, but some significant events occurred in January yet. There are millions of activities, parades, fairs, street dancing, open-air musical and theatrical performances -such as murga –  take place in the program all over Montevideo and every town and city in the country.

Within the confines of the Carnival, in January occurred in Montevideo the Carnival of Promises, a parade for the children.

In 2. of February was a religious feast, the Day of the Virgen de la Candelaria which usually is celebrated at home with house parties and music-dancing, naturally.

The Carnival of the Black Community in Montrevideo starts his own parade, the Las Llamadas at the same time as the official one, with the Candomblé (The Parade of the Calls) and the Iemanjá.

The Candomblé is a parade with African-Brazil drums, costumes, the participants are marching around the streets in the center of the Old Town.

The Iemanjá is a celebration of the African orisha, the goddess of the sea. The people assemble on the beach, make offerings from food, flowers and scents for the deity, which they send to the sea on small paper boats. After that begins the dance, again!

In the small country town, La Pedrera there is a weird event that occurs in carnival times. The people are dancing in the streets all night long with throwing drinks, water and foam around.

Semana Santa (Semana de Turismo) – Easter (Week of Tourism) 26-30. March

A similar celebration like the international ones, but the non-religious part of the country at that time go on holiday.

Día de Los Travajadores – Labour Day 1. May

Like in other countries with parades, and the celebrations of the government.

Batalla de Las Piedras – Battle of Las Piedras 18. May

Artigas Birthday 19. June Constitution Day 18. July Independence Day 25. August Batalla de Sarandí – Day of the Races or Columbus’ Day 12. October

These feasts celebrate the history and the patriotic heroes of Uruguay. All are organized by the government or municipals. There are speeches and parades too, with fairs, fireworks and the regular music and dancing. In some case, the visitors can participate the reenactments of historical events, like battles, too.

Día de los Muertos – All Souls Day 2. November

Christmas: Day of the Family 25.December

Ano Nuevo: New Year’s Day 1. January

We have some interesting festivals too in Uruguay, mainly of the food and drink sort:

Milk Festival in Cardal, South Florida District October (no date yet)

This is the main milk-producer district in Uruguay. They celebrate with food like huge asados – the Uruguayan specialty roasted meat – and arroz con leche (rice with milk) in giant portions. There will be shows, music and dancing.

Gigantic Paella in Piriápolis December (no date yet)

At this eastern coastal town, the locals cook a huge – 5 diameter – Spanish heritage meal in the coastal promenade of the town of approximative 300 kg rice and fish.

Beer Week in Paysandú April (no date yet)

It’s like Oktoberfest in Germany, with open-air concerts and gastronomical fair.

Fiesta de Asado con Cuero in Rocha (no date yet)

Rocha is a spectacular town in the most eastern part of Uruguay close to Brasil. They annually celebrate the traditional Uruguayan roasted meat.

Fiesta de Maté y Encuentro Gaucho (Maté tea feast and meeting of the cowboys) 16-18. February

The Uruguayan cowboys’ – Gauchos’ – traditional drink is Maté. This is a very popular traditional parade with horse races and rodeo, gastronomic and artisanal fair, sporting contests.

(There are thousands of similar programs in the country with dancing and singing folk songs with guitar and accordion around campfires, riders’ and horse races, rodeos and so on… If you want the others, too, I can collect them.)

The most famous traditional gaucho-festivals:

Criolla de Parque Roosevelt in Canelones

Criolla del Prado Montevideo 20-27. March 

Festival de Lago en Represa de India Muerta 9-11. February

Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha Tacuarembo 7. March

There are also some Wine Festivals where the visitors can taste the new wines in bodegas:

Festival de la Vendimia (no date yet)

Festival de Cordero y el Tannat June (Corpus Cristi Day)

We have here some unique cultural events, the most famous and crowded, not to mention the most popular is the traditional Uruguayan tango festival, the Viva el Tango in October (no date yet) in Montevideo. This is a very old and internationally visited program which takes place in the central theatres of the capital city, and several stages in various districts. More than 100 invited artists participate in every year.

The Días del Patrimonio program in the first weekend of October also make possible to celebrate and dance the tango, and in April will be the Semana de La Cumparsita (Week of the Cumparsita) a remembrance of the musician Gerardo Matos Rodriguez who in 1917. composed the world-famous tango which is now the second national anthem of Uruguay.

There are many music festivals in the country not only in Montevideo but in other towns, too, mainly in summer on the beach, in the coastal towns and holiday centers like Punta del Este and Piriápolis.

Primavera O Montevideo (pop-music feast and dance) (no date yet)

Festival de Olimar (riverside open-air music, dancing all night)

Creamfields in Montevideo near the Lighthouse (EDM and tropical house music and party dance)

Festival International de Jazz de Punta del Este (the best jazz-feast of Uruguay) summer

Punta del Este Summer Festival (electronic music and party dance)

Fiesta de la X – La Paloma (rock, jazz, blues, reggae, hip-hop, funk and tango)

We Color Festival (disco party day and night, the people blast each other with color balloons)

 Jazz to the Streets – Mercedes, Soriano (on outdoor stages permanently live jazz, simultanously)

Piriámusic Festival – Piriápolis 2 days in the middle of December

Nostalgic Night (old time disco music, all night street dancing) 24.August

For the traditional “murga” style performance there will be a meeting for the children and young adults:

Encuentro de Murga Joven (Winter Theatre, Montevideo) 28-31. November

For some art and literature enthusiasts can we offer:

Black Week (Noir literature, film, photography and theatre events in Montevideo) (no date yet)

Festival Cinématico del Uruguay (International Film Festival in 14 movies) April

Feria del Libro infantil y juvenil (International Juvenile Book Fair in Montevideo) 26.May – 7. June

Montevideo Comics 28-29. May

Museos de la Noche Montevideo (Every museum and gallery will be open and no entry fee) the second Friday in December

Mes de la Diversidad LGBT cultural month in Montevideo (artistic and cultural activities and programs and parade) last Friday os September

In Sports Uruguay only known as football-crazy, but we could find other contests in the repertoire:

FIFA Women’s World Cup (women junior football in 3 stadiums)  13.November – 1. December

Montevideo CAMTRI American Cup Triathlon (anybody can contest, the prize is 5,000 USD) 1-11. March

GFNY Uruguay Bicycle Race (start: Punta del Este – distance: 182 km) 18.March


Corrida San Felipe y Santiago (Running race along the beaches of Montevideo) December Author Team

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