Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Ecuador Carnival – February 21, 2023

The Ecuador Carnival is a popular event, also known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday in the U.S., which takes place on the last Tuesday before Lent in February or early March. This year, it takes place on February 21. The holiday has religious origins and traditions. It is considered to be a Christian holiday to indulge in life. It occurs just before the season of Lent. It serves as a remembrance of the suffering of Jesus on the cross. There are unique traditions that mingle indigenous celebrations with the Catholic roots of Carnival. The traditions differ in some towns, especially the ones with large indigenous populations. The Ecuador Carnival celebrations are a part of indigenous beliefs and practices in Guaranda.

History of Ecuador Carnival

The Ecuador Carnival usually takes place the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The celebration is used to mark the day that Lent begins. In a six-week period, Lent and related fasting and other observances take place. The religious festivities are held until Easter Sunday. The Ecuador Carnival holiday is an opportunity for the country’s citizens to celebrate and indulge before the religious period. It is a time when people express their beliefs and allow themselves to be grateful for the blessings in their lives.

As a cultural tradition, the natives throw flowers, water, and flour in honor of the second moon of the year. They began to do this when the Spanish arrived in Ecuador. This native tradition is mixed with Christian beliefs. Over time, the tradition has evolved and has a different significance to different people. Today, people use spray foam as a safe and clean alternative to throwing these things at friends and family. Beautiful parades are organized throughout the country and are enjoyed by most citizens. Participants in the parades wear colorful costumes and dance to local music played on traditional instruments. There are fun concerts and performances in public parks and theaters. A fermented drink made from corn called Chicha de Jora is consumed during the festivities at the Ecuador Carnival. Many tourists enjoy exploring Ecuadorian food for the first time at the food festivals and plazas filled with food stalls. The carnival is decorated with extravagant and joyful colors, which create a wonderfully uplifting atmosphere. The celebrations differ slightly in each city and town.

Ecuador Carnival timeline

Ecuador is Conquered

Ecuador is conquered by Spaniards and it becomes part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru.

Ecuador Becomes Independent

Ecuador becomes fully independent from the confederation of Gran Colombia.

Ecuador Returns to Democracy

A new constitution leads to the return of democracy in Ecuador.

Ecuador Has a New President

A socialist candidate named Rafael Correa wins the presidential election and becomes the president of Ecuador.

Ecuador Carnival FAQs

What is Ecuador's famous food?

Some popular foods in Ecuador include Caldo de Gallina Criolla (Creole Chicken Soup), Locro de Papa (Potato Soup), and Ecuadorian Ceviche (Raw Pickled Seafood).

How many days does Carnival last in Ecuador?

The Ecuador Carnival lasts for two days. These days are Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

Does Ecuador ever snow?

Ecuador does not experience snow often even though it is at such high altitudes.

Ecuador Carnival Activities

  1. Visit Ecuador

    You can take part in the holiday by visiting Ecuador. It is a beautiful country that has a rich culture to offer its visitors.

  2. Attend the carnival

    The Ecuador Carnival is a fun experience that everyone should aim to enjoy at least once. It is like a big party that you will not easily forget.

  3. Learn about the culture

    You can take some time to learn about the culture of Ecuador. They have interesting food, music, and people.

5 Fun Facts About Ecuador

  1. The carnival is full of games

    In Ecuador, carnival games are played in the streets and parks.

  2. It can get messy

    The Ecuador Carnival’s games can get messy, with foam and even eggs staining the streets.

  3. Clothes get stained

    People who visit the carnival typically wear clothes they don’t mind getting stained.

  4. Ecuador is close to space

    Ecuador is the closest country to space and farther from the Earth's center than anywhere else.

  5. Ecuador is República del Ecuador

    Ecuador is named after the equator, and its official name is República del Ecuador, which translates to “The Republic of the Equator.”

Why We Love Ecuador Carnival

  1. It preserves culture

    The carnival helps to maintain the cultural practices in Ecuador. It keeps the people invested in the traditions of the beautiful country.

  2. It gives people joy

    The holiday is a particular time of celebration in Ecuador. People feel happy and are seen jubilating in the streets.

  3. Everyone is welcome

    The country happily receives many visitors during the festival. Tourists feel welcome to participate in the festivities. They can easily enjoy the culture.

Ecuador Carnival dates

2022March 1Tuesday
2023February 21Tuesday
2024February 13Tuesday
2025March 4Tuesday
2026February 17Tuesday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.