The Celebrations of San Salvador also called “Fiesta de San Salvador” is a national holiday observed yearly in El Salvador on August 6. It is usually accompanied by two days of regional holidays. The day is celebrated to praise the Divine Savior of the World, who El Salvador is named after. It is a religious as well as a secular celebration as different events are held during the celebration period. The main religious celebration is held on August 6 as a procession is held with the image of Jesus Christ.
History of Celebrations of San Salvador
The history of the Celebrations of San Salvador began when Christopher Columbus first discovered the new world in 1492. As a rule, he named the place of discovery after the feast day of a saint who coincided with his arrival. St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Dominican Republic are some examples of places discovered like this.
In 1524, as new lands were discovered, Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado conquered a new land in the name of Spain and named it after Jesus Christ. The full name was “Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesus Cristo, El Salvador Del Mundo” meaning “Province of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World.” It’s no surprise that the name was abbreviated to ‘El Salvador,’ meaning ‘The Saviour.’ The capital was then named San Salvador (Holy Saviour).
Alongside the Spaniards came the tradition of Fiesta Patronales — a tradition where cities celebrate the feast day of the saint they were named after with a festival. The feast day of saints is usually on the day of their death but in the case of El Salvador, Jesus’ death is already celebrated on Easter Day, and His birth is covered by Christmas so another day had to be chosen to celebrate His festival, and so the day Feast of the Transfiguration was chosen.
The transfiguration of Jesus was an event where He became radiant in glory thus showing His divinity. No particular date was given for the event and so in 1456, Pope Callixtus III set it on August 6 to commemorate the lifting of the Siege of Belgrade. The celebrations have been happening since the 16th Century and a major highlight is “the descent” (la bajada) in which a wooden statue of Jesus dressed in purple is carried from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Divine Savior of the World.
Celebrations of San Salvador timeline
Pope Callixtus III sets August 6 to commemorate the lifting of the siege in Belgrade.
Christopher Columbus discovers the New World.
Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado discovers El Salvadaor
The first celebration of Fiesta de San Salvador takes place.
Celebrations of San Salvador FAQs
What ethnicities are in El Salvador?
El Salvador is composed mostly of mestizos which are people of European and Native American ancestry, whites, and indigenous peoples.
What language is spoken in El Salvador?
What sports are popular in El Salvador?
Football is the national sport in El Salvador.
Celebrations of San Salvador Activities
Visit San Salvador
Pay a visit to San Salvador to enjoy the celebrations firsthand. It would be an exciting experience.
Say a prayer
The celebrations of San Salvador are rooted in religious beliefs as well as secular. Celebrate the day by saying a prayer to the Divine Savior of the World and for San Salvador.
Celebrate it by spreading awareness about the festival. After all, the more the merrier.
5 Fun Facts About El Salvador
A very small country
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America.
A dense population
San Salvador has almost seven million people and is the most densely populated country in the Americas.
First names only
Salvadorans only use first names with family and friends.
It has a lot of Volcanoes
El Salvador is known as the "Land of Volcanoes" because it has more than 20 volcanoes in the region of which two are active.
A hospitable country
El Salvador is so hospitable that guests are served meals first.
Why We Love Celebrations of San Salvador
It is a fun event
The celebrations of San Salvador are a very fun event. Lots of fun activities like colorful parades, sporting events, and open-air parties take place.
It promotes tourism
The festival attracts tourists which helps boost the economy of El Salvador. We love celebrating other cultures and this holiday does just that.
A reminder to be holy
The religious celebrations also help to remind people to live a holy life. This way, people can have fun and remember their spirituality as well.
Celebrations of San Salvador dates