7 Most Popular Cuenca Festivities (Ecuador)

Among the   most popular festivities in Cuenca (Ecuador) are the founding of Cuenca, Independence or the  Pass for the Child Traveler. Cuenca, officially called Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca, is a city in the south central area of ​​the Republic of Ecuador and is the capital of the Azuay province.

Given that the founding of the city of Cuenca is related to Spain and this in turn is related to the Catholic Church, many of the festivals that take place in Cuenca are associated with the liturgical calendar.

Child Traveler Pass

In addition, like any community, they also have parties to celebrate the city’s national dates, for example the anniversary of the founding of Cuenca.

Cuenca’s best known festivals

The traditional festivals of a community exist to commemorate an event that was relevant in the history of that society, that is, a moment that marked and changed the lives of the inhabitants. 
Each community or nation has many events that celebrate and the Ecuadorian city is no exception. 

1- Cuenca Foundation

On April 12, 1557, following the request of the Spanish viceroy of Peru, Don Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza, the city of Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca was founded.

Every year, in the month of April, the anniversary of the founding of Cuenca is celebrated. This celebration is not planned for one day, nor are the same acts held every year.

The group of people in charge of conceiving this party plans a series of activities to carry out over several days.

Among the activities are craft fairs, cultural, religious and patriotic activities, where they present musical presentations accompanied by traditional dances.

2- Independence of Cuenca

Annually, on November 3, Cuenca celebrates its independence day. Cuenca’s independence festival is a celebration that takes place during almost the entire month of November.

During the month they organize parades, cultural and musical activities that are accompanied by the typical Cuenca and Ecuadorian dances.

3- Child Traveler Pass

The traveling child pass is a tradition that is kept alive in the city of Cuenca. It takes place every year on December 24.

This festival consists of a procession throughout the city center and ends at the Cathedral of the Immaculate. It is a celebration of several hours, in which many people will pay devotion to the baby Jesus.

Those who participate wear colorful clothes and the means of transport are covered with scenes referring to the birth of the baby Jesus.

4- Feast of the Holy Innocents

The feast of the Holy Innocents, celebrated on January 6, represents a celebration in which many people from Cuenca participate.

On this day, the people of Cuenca use any type of disguise and carry out parades and processions where there are people who dress up as historical or relevant figures from the previous year.

5- Corpus Christi

During seven nights of the month of June, according to the liturgical calendar, the people of Cuenca attend processions and ceremonies to show their devotion to the Most Holy Jesus of Sacramentado.

6- Carnival

The Cuenca Carnival stands out for its link with the traditional food of the area. Families prepare an abundant amount of delicacies such as Cuenca bread, guaguas or some sweets such as quince or peaches.

In turn, music, games, songs and dances and drinking also have a place in this joyous carnival.

7- Christmas

In Cuenca, like the rest of the country, Christmas is a time of celebration, prayers, dances, masses and various shows to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

It should be noted the spectacular illuminated tree that is placed every year in the Plaza del Otorongo. At more than 35 meters, the tree is the largest in the entire nation.


  1. Ecuador basin. (sf). Retrieved on December 18, 2017, from Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org.
  2. Five Great Traditional Festivals in Ecuador. (November 14, 2013). Retrieved on December 19, 2017, from International Living: internationalliving.com.
  3. Corpus Christi. (sf). Retrieved on December 19, 2017, from Lonely Planet: lonelyplanet.com.
  4. Simpson, J. (August 2, 2011). A city in Ecuador celebrates Christmas all year long. Retrieved on December 19, 2017, from testar.com: thestar.com.
  5. Long live Cuenca! Independence day in Cuenca. (sf). Retrieved on December 19, 2017, from Bacon is Magic: baconismagic.ca.

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