It’s a rather peculiar festival in Colombia. The Festival del Burro or Donkey Festival, takes place every year at Easter in the small Caribbean coastal town of San Antero.
The festival was conceived to show gratitude to donkeys for their hard work in helping Colombian farmers every year.
Donkeys, are all dressed in a costume carefully chosen by their owners, usually a Colombian hero or a world-renowned celebrity.
‘‘Sometimes our rural farmers are most affected by the policies that many governments have adopted, and we should support them. And this festival seeks to highlight this work and congratulate our rural farmers on their daily work, and since their main working tool is the donkey, we pay tribute to them here in this festival’‘, said Moniquira mayor, Ancisar Parra.
The celebration began at the beginning of the 20th century. But it had a completely different look at the time. Originally, only one donkey paraded with an effigy of Judas Iscariot, who was then burned as a punishment for betraying Jesus. In the end, only the idea of the donkey as the central element of this celebration was preserved.
‘‘The traditions of this region seem pretty nice to me… The way farmers work with their donkeys, the way they dress them, the children and families who are also involved, that’s what makes the Boyaca culture really interesting to me’‘, a tourist said.
Donkeys wearing the best costumes are crowned as King and Queen of the festival. And the assumption is that these donkeys have a week off work. The donkey festival is also a good excuse for the people of San Antero to enjoy street parties and live band music.