Interesting customs and traditions in Colombia

Hello everyone,

Living outside of our home country requires us to adapt to a new culture and different traditions. What are some of the cultural specifics in Colombia?

What are some of the traditional beliefs and cultural practices that you have encountered in Colombia that are different to your home country?

Tell us a bit more about some of the customs that you’ve found interesting, such as communication style, food, greetings, laws, or festivities.

What were your initial reactions and how did you adapt to them?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


One of the most interesting customs I have encountered is LA DIETA.  As any rural Colombian lady is she knows about it. Most do.  Upon giving birth, women are to stay indoors, in bed if possible, for 40 days.  You're only to drink chicken or fish broth, not cut your nails or hair, only bathe is warm water (which is rare, because most rural Colombians have only cold water and like it), and not look at the moon.  If you do not follow THE DIETA, bad things will happen to Mom and baby.

Have you heard of this?  Most follow it simply in tradition.  I have some logical theories of its origin.

This 40-day practice, not confined to Colombia, is more widely known as cuarantena, whose word origin is traced back to an Italian-dialect word for "40 days."  (The Spanish word for 40 is cuarenta.  Also, note the related English word, quarantine.)

During this time, other family members pitch in to do the madre's housework so she can get plenty of rest and devote herself to nursing and caring for the newborn.  For her, according to the unwritten rules, sex is off-limits during this period.

After 40 days, she returns to regular activities.

    -- cccmedia

Traditions.... or superstitions ?..... A dody area to tread, when you start questioning the logic behind some of them !
Here's some more in the baby department.
1, Looking at any form of eclipse could give the child birth marks
2, First poo spread on Mum's face for nutrition.
3, Red socks on baby to protect the little one from negative energy from anyone passing.
4,No females to visit during their menstrual cycle as this will make baby strain, do grunting noises and and go purple......(Apparently licking your finger and putting a cross on babies chin and tummy usually sorts this one out, if the unforeseen happens)
5,Don't let baby look in the mirror.
6, Keep umbilical cord in babies clothes drawer to ward off spirits.
7, Indigenous Colombian bracelet around ankle.
8,Cotton wool in babies ears ... never did get to the bottom of that one.
9, Hot coals a herbs for room cleansing ritual.

At the end of the day it's all harmless, and if it makes Mum and family feel better and safer then why argue what you may feel absurd... ?

The forty day chicken and hot water tradition, I would imagine, derives from pulling out all the stops and helping put mum back on her feet again. Jumping from a poverty stricken staple diet of beans and rice to eating like royalty sounds like Mums needed . Although not washing the hair to stop headaches and not cutting nails I have no idea on.

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