Palo de Mayo

A very fun and exciting dance in Nicaragua is called the Palo de Mayo, or the maypole dance, which is a dance that consists of Caribbean rhythms and colorful costumes that start the Palo de Mayo festival. The festival is a tribute to the Mayaya African goddess of fertility. The celebration has been dated from the nineteenth century.

This is considered one of the highest expressions of culture and tradition of the Caribbean of Nicaragua which is the first of May starts with a presentation around a tree that is decorated with colorful ribbons and around which dances are performed as welcome to the rainy season, production and new life.

The festival began in Corn Island in Nicaragua that then got moved to be celebrated in Bluefields that attract people from all over the country. The energy and joy gets passed to them during this activity. Before the carnival, the neighborhoods get together to prepare their colorful costumes and dances that compete with each other. Throughout this celebration, you get to eat lots of amazing Caribbean foods such as Rondon, coconut bread, gallo pinto, pati, etc.

This festival continues to be celebrated today as it gets passed down from generation to generation in Nicaragua. Learning the Palo de Mayo is LOTS of fun and great to learn to dance on the dance floor! It gets more and more intense every year as competitions are held throughout the United States as well. It also is starting to lose its authenticity and getting more vulgar, but that’s besides the point. Originally, the dance is great and lots of fun!


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