Sincelejo is the capital of the department of Sucre on the Colombian Caribbean better known for its yearly party: Las Fiestas en Corralejas
Sincelejo was founded with the name San Francisco de Asís de Sincelejo on Octuber 4, 1535, the saint day of Francis of Assis. It was located on the site of a small indigenous settlement belonging to the ameridian Zenu and Turbaco cultures. The village formed part of the encomienda of Alonso Padilla between 1610 and 1640. In 1776 Sincelejo was refounded by the Spanish captain and engineer, Antonio de la Torre y Miranda.
In 1812, Sincelejo became shelter for the revolutionary priests in La Rebelión de los Curas (Priests’ Insurrection) held back the same year. In 1887 Sincelejo became one of the head towns in the Province of Cartagena. In 1908 it became the capital of the department of Sincelejo, which had a short-lived period, becoming part of the Province of Cartagena again in 1910. In 1912, Sincelejo almost dissapears because of a huge conflagration, which took down the most of the central zone, nevertheless the town was rebuilded, having a particular architecture belonging to that age, mostly in the center zone of the town. In 1966 with the creation of the Department of Sucre, Sincelejo became the capital of this department
Sincelejo is in the tropics, so its temperatures does not change too much along the year, keeping an average temperature about 27-28 °C, the difference is made by the precipitation, which does change. The drought season usually starts in the first or second half of December and it extends until the second half of February or the first half of March, then the rainy Season starts sporadically at the beginning and gradually increasing until getting a peak in April or May, in June and July the ammount of precipitation decrese a little (In a period of time called “Veranillo de San Juan“) and eventually it increases again until it reaches the most rainy point in September, October or even in November.
Traditional music of Sincelejo are porro and fandango. The typical plate from this city is the mote de queso which is a soup with cheese. City is known for its hamacas and sombreros vueltiaos, which are both made by the native inhabitants. The sombrero vueltiao is also known as a national symbol for Colombia. The city is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sincelejo.
The Fiesta en Corralejas is celebrated on January 20 each year with various events, including a recently revived bullfight. On January 20, 1980, a combination of overcrowding and panic caused the bullring’s wooden bleachers to collapse, killing at 222 persons, although some estimates place the death toll at almost 400.
Sincelejo is the cultural center of the Savannas Subregion, and there are several institutions devoted to the cultural work like “La Escuela de Bellas Artes” (English: School of Fine Art).
Several cultural events take place every year like “Encuentro Nacional de Bandas” (National Contest of Bands); “Festival Sabanero del Acordeón” (Savanna’s Accordion Festival); “Festival del Barrilete” (Kites festival) and everyday it is possible to be witness of different cultural expressions in music, theater and folk dance.
- Censo Dane 2005, www.dane.gov.co