Every year, Managua and all surrounding cities celebrate the “Fiestas Patronales,” or the celebrations dedicated to a saint. In Managua, they celebrate Santo Domingo de Guzman, or Saint Dominic. These are a very large and traditional celebration throughout the city, but each department in Nicaragua has their own saint they like to cherish and celebrate. There are men and women carrying a picture or statue of their prospective saint through the streets with dancers dancing around them and cars honking.
The traditional procession is very colorful and combines a lot of religious enthusiasm and happiness that ties in with the country and its rich culture. On the first of August, the “Bajada del Santo” takes place, which takes the statue from Santo Domingo from the church to one a kilometer away from the city. It stays at the second church until the morning of the tenth, where they take the statue back to the original church.
Thousands of religious people attend this event to mainly thank the saint for miracles throughout the year, dance to the beat of the music and marimbas and dressed up in their traditional costumes, masks, and painted bodies. The country has traditional horse and cart parades that take place at the same place on the first and tenth of August.
These celebrations are always very crowded and lots and lots of fun! It is a beautiful celebration and brings all of the neighborhoods together to remind each other of the love and gratitude for the saints they each have.