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Calendar of Events Nicaragua
A list of Nicaragua festivals and other events

No matter what time of year you take a vacation in Nicaragua, you'll probably encounter some great Nicaragua festivals to enjoy. Nicaraguan culture is steeped in history and religious tradition.

 

Thursday nights in Masaya (Jueves de Verbena) – there is typical food, drink and ballet folklorico at the Mercado Artesanias in Masaya.

 

January
31 December/1 january
San Silvestre Papa (Catarina) Famous parade for flowers.
20 – Saints Day: San Sebastian

 

February
Air Force Day (February 1). Honors the men of Nicaragua’s airforce.

Diriomo (February 2-8) The Virgen de la Candelaria makes her annual pilgrimage to Los Jirones. Lots of dancing, parades and fireworks.

Carnaval – in 2009 around 28th February

 

Nicaragua Baseball series runs from mid February to mid March. The finals of the series are generally held from March 26 through April 4.

 

March
16 March  - La Virgen de la Asuncion or Virgen of the burning finger/ Festival of the Cross. The virgen of Masaya is taken to Lake Masaya to give thanks for her protection of the town when a lava flow threatened during the 1772 eruption.

(Last week in March)
The roads of central Managua are closed off as taxi drivers modify licensed taxis for  5 laps around the centre of the city.

 

April
April 3 – Jesus del Rescate – Oxcarts begin their journey from Masaya to San Jorge. These oxcarts have a twenty day journey to arrive at the church of Nuestra Senor de Rescate. Normally around 150 oxcart make the journey and arrive at the church on the 23rd April, which is the anniversary of San Jorge’s appearance on the coast of Lake Nicaragua.  The church is San Jorge is painted a brilliant purple – a mix that uses huevos de amor (fertilized chicken eggs) donated by members of the Parish.  Once the caravan of oxcarts arrive and ensuing solemnities there is a typical ‘fiestas patronales’ with parades, rodeos and dances.

 

Easter (Holy Week)
Across Latin America the final week of Jesus Christ called Semana Santa or Holy Week, the remembrance of his crucifixion and resurrection, marks the most important holiday of the year. In Nicaragua Holy Week is a time of varied and fascinating festivals that blend ancient Spanish Catholic traditions with indigenous rituals creating festivals that are unique to Latin American. Holy Week is interesting in the Pueblos Blancos near Granada and also in Leon in the neighbourhood of Subtiava which is known particularly for the colourful sawdust murals on the streets.  In the city of Nandaime, ox-pulled carts travel for four days in order to reach the Popoyupa Sanctuary in Rivas to show thankfulness to life’s miracles.

 

May

Palo de Mayo (May1) Bluefields, Nicaragua
Mid May (Masatepe) Domingo de Trinidad
Forty days after Semana Santa (HolyWeek/Easter), this is the biggest hipica (horse parade) in Nicaragua… the Festival peaks on 23rd May but occur for time before and after this date.

 

Laguna apoyo, Nicaragua

June
24 (Catarina  & San Juan del Sur ) Festival of San Juan Bautista which also falls on the day of the Summer Solistice – Dances, ceremonial fights and music.

July 16 Procession of the Virgen of Carmen.  The Virgen is the Patron Saint of fishers and in San Juan del Sur the Virgen is taken aboard a local ship in the early afternoon, placed on a altar decorated with fishing nets and poles and taken on a trip around the bay at San Juan del Sur, blessing the boats.

 

July
July 19
Day of the Revolution – celebrations in many towns, but particularly Managua.  Celebrates the day the National Liberation Army declared victory over the Somoza family.

July 26
Santa Ana (Niquinohomo) This popular saint is celebrated all around Nicaragua, but the festival in Niquinohomo is one of the country’s biggest celebrations with parades, dances and fireworks.

 

August 1

Fiesta Day  - Toro Guaco takes place in virtually every town in Nicaragua in dedication to the town's patron saint. The Toro Guaco is no ordinary celebration. Visiting these Nicaragua events will transport you to the 1500s, as Nicaraguans engage in mock battles and imitate characters from Spanish folklore. Some of the largest Toro Guaco celebrations in the country take place in Managua in early August, in honor of the patron Saint of Managua, Santiago.

 

Festival Santo Domingo de Guzman  (August 1-10)
Managua’s fiestas patronales (patron Saint parties) feature a carnaval, sports events, hipicos (horse parades), music, fireworks and a procesión of diablitos (little devils) which accompany Santo Domingo to his country shrine at Sierritas de Managua.

 

La Griteria Chiquita (August 14) Leon
This celebration began in 1947, when an erupting Cerro Negro threatened to bury the city with ashes. The volcano halted its activity when a priest vowed to initiate a preliminary ‘griteria’, similar to the one held in December for the day of the Immaculate Conception. This day celebrates and respects the volcano.  

 

Day of the Virgen of Asuncion (August 15)
An image of the Virgen Mary will be toured the streets of Monimbo – with associated revelry and fireworks.

 

Fiestas de Agosto (Festivals of August – Granada)
Granada celebrates the Assumption of Mary with parades, hipica parades, bullfights, and lots of partying.

 

Public Holidays
2009
1 Jan New Year's Day. 
9 Apr Holy Thursday. 
10 Apr Good Friday.
1 May Labour Day.
19 Jul Liberation Day.
14 Sep Battle of San Jacinto.
15 Sep Independence Day.
2 Nov All Souls' Day.
8 Dec Immaculate Conception.
25 Dec Christmas Day.

2010
1 Jan New Year's Day. 
1 Apr Holy Thursday. 
2 Apr Good Friday.
1 May Labour Day.
19 Jul Liberation Day.
14 Sep Battle of San Jacinto.
15 Sep Independence Day.
2 Nov All Souls' Day.
8 Dec Immaculate Conception.
25 Dec Christmas Day.

Immaculate Concepcion (November 28- December 7)
This is the most important celebration of the year in Granada, with each of the different streets and neighbourhoods celebrating Granada’s patron saint, the Virgen Concepcion de Maria (or Maria Auxiliadora).

 

September
San Jacinto Day, (September 14). Anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto in 1856.

Independence Day, September 15. Commemorates the declaration of independence of Central America in 1821.

 

Virgen of Merced (24 September) The day before and day of Leon’s patron saint’s day are quite festive with parades and fireworks.

 

San Jeronimo (September 30) Masaya, Nicaragua


27th Sep-8th Oct - Feast of San Jeronimo (Masaya, Nicaragua)
Officially 8 days of festivities, the celebration in Masaya now lasts about 3 months.  The patron saint of Masaya, San Jeronimo is represented by the form of a bearded campesino known as ‘Tata Chombo’ or ‘doctor of the poor’. He is taken from his church in San Jeronimo and accompanied around the streets of Masaya by dances, fireworks, parades, and much more. Traditional dances Mozote and Verga are notable here.

 

Noche de Aguizotes – last Friday in October
This should not be confused with Halloween or the Day of the Dead. In Masaya, ghosts of the dead as well as those still living take to the streets for parades and celebrations.

 

El Toro Venado
Last Sunday of October/ Third Sunday of November
This dance involves a creature or animal which is half bull/half deer and who makes fun. The dance usually occurs in Masaya.

 

La Griteria (Dia de la Purisima Concepción) December 7 – Day of the Immaculate Conception
Celebrated in many Nicaraguan cities – its particularly big in Leon (where they get into the shouting) and in Granada.

 

 

 

Horses Granada

 

We are based in Granada, Nicaragua. For further information please email reservas@explore-central-america.com we are best contacted by email. we will respond within 48 hours of your enquiry, if not sooner. OR phone (505) 8447 8814 (spanish) or (505) 8982 8099 (english)

 

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