Colombia celebrates independence, announces Miss Colombia

Nicol Nicolson, CNNPublished 17th November 2015
(CNN) — In much of the northern hemisphere, mid-November is greeted by locals with grim expressions and collars tuned up against the bleak approach of the coming winter chill.
In Cartagena, Colombia, the days are marked in somewhat different fashion ... mainly, with a spirited public celebration of hotness.
Oh, and political freedom.
The port city of Cartagena declared its independence from Spain on November 11, 1811, ahead of the liberation of the rest of the country and its immediate neighbors.
While the Spanish reclaimed the city and it didn't enjoy genuine independence until 1819, the November date is considered a key moment in the wider Latin American struggle.
Today it's celebrated as a national holiday with an extended carnival, which culminates with the corontion of Miss Colombia.
Festivities this year began on November 12 (Independence Day is celebrated on November 11, but the public holiday falls on the following Monday) with a street carnival as part of the wider Concurso Nacional de Belleza.
This was the first chance for the public to see all the Miss Colombia contestants in person and cheer for their favorites.
Various regional competitors were whittled down before the final election and coronation, which came Monday.
The event always takes place in Cartagena and always coincides with Independence Day.
CNN's Nicol Nicolson was in Cartagena to capture this year's festivities.