Public Holidays in
Ecuador's public holidays
mostly celebrate historic events and religious festivals.
Some public holidays are national and apply to the
whole of Ecuador, some
are local to a particular city. A public or bank holiday may
be applied on a Friday if the actual date falls at the weekend or
midweek. In this case it is common for festivities to happen
on the actual date and then people have the day off on the official
date anyway, thus getting two holidays for the price of one.
Some celebrations are not
actually public holidays, but the public stop working and celebrate
anyway and there is very little that the goverment can do about it.
In general, if there is an excuse for a party, people in
Ecuador will celebrate it.
National Public Holidays in
Holidays, or Festivals not officially Public
Holidays but widely celebrated anyway
just before Lent) Dates vary, in 2011 Carnival public holidays are 7
& 8 February, but workers must compensate by working 2
Saturdays. Carnaval involves flinging water and/or
at everyone, including total strangers and tourists with expensive
cameras - be warned. Throwing water in through the windows of
moving vehicles is not outside the rules either.
March/April - Easter
(Semana Santa, literally Holy Week). Dates vary, Good Friday
is 22 April in 2011. Holy
(Jueves Santo) is widely celebrated, but the official public
holiday is Good
Santo). The parade in Quito's Old Town attracts
as the cross is carried past the old colonial churches.
1 May - Labour Day
(Dia del Trabajo)
24 May - Battle of
(Batalla del Pichincha)
24 July Birthday of Simón Bolivar (Nacimiento
10 August - Independence
(Primer Grito de Independencia)
October - Independence of Guayaquil (Guayaquil only)
(Independencia de Guayaquil) Usually celebrated in Guayaquil
2 November - Day of the
Dead, or All Souls' Day
(Día de los Difuntos) Families visit cemeteries and leave
offerings of bread
figurines for deceased relatives. The traditional
food at this time is bread babies (guaguas de pan) and a
drink (colada morada).
3 November - Independence of Cuenca (Independencia de
Foundation of Quito (Quito
as "las fiestas de Quito")
with parades, parties and bullfights in
Effectively marks the beginning of Christmas for most
Quiteños, many of whom put up Christmas trees as well as the
25 December - Christmas
Day (Navidad) The present-giving and Christmas dinner
place at midnight on 24th December (the "noche buena" or good night, so
the 25th is usually spent
31 December - New
Year's Eve (Nochevieja, literally "old
or Fin de Año, end of year)
when symbolic figures of the old year are burnt to signify a fresh
start to the new year. Also expect lots of fireworks.
1 January - New Year
Public holidays in
Ecuador are often celebrated with family, which for many people means
travelling back to their home town or village.
are often packed around these dates, so either try to avoid travelling
around public holiday dates, if possible, or else reserve a ticket
ahead of time.
Holidays in Ecuador
Ecuador public holidays - dates and traditions. Religious
festivals, regional celebrations, popular fiestas and traditional
holiday observances in Ecuador. Information is given in good
faith and no responsibilty can be taken for errors or omissions.