Ecuador Traditions

Ecuador traditions are a mixture between the Spanish colonialism, the Roman Catholic Church and the Ecuadorian traditions of pre-Columbian Indians.


The Inti Raymi for example is an important Indian celebration and it means The Sun's celebration and harvest. This tradition is practiced mainly on the highlands of Ecuador.

Indian Traditions

ecuador traditions

During the summer Solstice on June 22nd, the Indians travel to sacred territories, waterfalls and rivers to carry out this celebration.

According to the Ecuadorian Indians this ceremony allows people to be in close harmony with Mother Nature and to purify their souls.

The Inti Raymi is for people who love nature. This Indian tradition is open to men and women, children, indigenous and non-indigenous, Ecuadorians and foreigners.

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Ecuadorians are gentle people who will welcome you into their homes and traditions. Most Ecuador traditions have a religious touch. Almost every month there is a celebration in honor to a particular Catholic Saint.

Beautiful parades are organized in different towns around Ecuador (mainly the highlands) men and women wear colorful dresses and there's a lot of dancing and drinking coupled with fireworks. These celebrations may last for a few days.

For example during September there is the Yamor Feast it takes place in Otavalo City and lasts 2 weeks. It is a celebration filled with parades, dancing, music and fireworks.

Traditional food and drinks are all over the city, like the "famous Chicha" which is an alcoholic drink made out of corn or yucca (a root). This is a traditional celebration that attracts people from all over the world.

One of the most important Ecuador traditions is held on November 7 th. It is The Mama Negra Celebration (Black Mother) in the city of Latacunga, this is one of the major celebrations in Ecuador.

Also here there are big and colorful parades. It's really a wonderful tradition not to be missed during your Ecuador trip.

On November the 1st and 2nd the Dia de los Difuntos (Day of the Dead) is commemorated. Every family in Ecuador goes to the cemeteries to leave flowers and visit the family members who have died.

Indians have the tradition of taking food into the cemeteries to symbolically feed the dead. A drink called the Colada Morada (a thick blackberry-fruit drink) is served during these dates.

Carnival Celebrations is also among Ecuador traditions. It is celebrated in every corner of Ecuador during March or April (exact date depends on the religious calendar) big parties take place in every major city with outstanding parades.

It is traditional to see people throwing water to each other. The Beaches in Ecuador are crowded during the famous Ecuador Carnivals.

The City of Ambato is a nice spot to visit during Carnival. Here is where the feast of the flowers and fruits takes place.

"No water is thrown" in this city and of course a big parade is also part of the celebrations. Ecuadorians enjoy 4 days of vacation.

Holy Week: is a religious (Catholic) celebration. It is celebrated in April and an enormous parade is held in honor of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The typical dish served during this week is the famous Fanesca. See Delicious Ecuador Recipes here

Quito Foundation: The Spanish culture is present during this Ecuador tradition. There are a wide range of parades, bullfights and parties that take place on the streets.

One of the most singular and colorful traditions in the City of Quito is to ride on top of the Chivas, these are open buses with no windows or doors.

A brass band is placed at the roof playing music loudly, the bus is crowded with happy people singing and drinking riding all around the city.

Christmas in Ecuador: December 25th, is very similar to those of western countries, especially influenced by the American celebrations. Christmas trees, gifts and diners are in every family in Ecuador.

Among Ecuador traditions during this dates are the "Novenas". These are Catholic prayers that are held for nine consecutive days until Christmas day. This ritual is basically followed by the elder people who are still very religious.

New Years Eve: It is traditional in Ecuador to build or buy dummies (puppets) with human or animal figures filled with fireworks and burn them at exactly midnight.

These dummies represent all the sufferings and bad experiences of the old year, and burning them has the meaning of burying these negative incidents.

Music in Ecuador: Is also a fundamental part of the rich Ecuador traditions. Everywhere you go you'll find different kind of music.

In the coast especially in the Esmeraldas Province the Afro-Ecuadorians are well known for their marimba music.

In the highlands you will encounter with Indian music, good examples of it are with the Otavalo Indians who play music with the Rondador, ancient flutes, guitars, etc. More About Ecuador Music

Birthday Celebrations: Are celebrated just like any other country, cakes, candles, clowns and candies.

Ecuador has a wide range of indigenous cultures that proudly continue the traditions of their ancestors. In this country you'll also find well preserved colonial architecture and majestic landscapes.

If you visit this country and want to really experience Ecuador traditions, the towns located in the highlands are the perfect place to be.

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