Fiesta de San Jerónimo in Nicaragua is celebrated on September 30 each year. The eve of the celebration is a longer part of the nearly two-month-long festival that honors Saint Jerome, the Patron Saint of Libraries, and the most beloved saint in Masaya, the cultural landmark of Nicaragua.
History of Fiesta de San Jerónimo
Fiesta de San Jerónimo is a 200-year-old holiday celebrated by the natives of Masaya. The majordomo arrives at the church on August 15 to request permission for the celebration, which kicks off preparations for the observation. The official celebrations start with the anniversary of the descent of Saint, which falls on September 20 of each year, and extend to October 7, commemorating people’s faith through public demonstrations and processions in the name of brotherhood.
The city celebrates the festival with great passion. Roads and public places get adorned with garlands, and thousands of devotees join the annual procession in the name of their saint patron. The celebration concludes with a parade of the indigenous tribes of Masaya.
The festivities of Fiesta de San Jerónimo stretch for months and are the largest solemnity of the people of Nicaragua. It is the most extensive event in Masaya and constitutes a significant portion of the region’s tourism and economic activity. The Santa Maria Magdalena Parish in Masaya hosts a mass on the eve of the festival, followed by a procession in which devotees carry the statue of Saint Jerome.
The town’s streets get filled with a fever of happiness and ethnic uncertainty. People who attend the parade dress traditionally and perform the Mayasa dance known as “Los Diablitos.” Participants gather every Sunday of October and November to show off their costumes to intrastate travelers and foreign tourists. Fiesta de San Jerónimo also celebrates the indigenous culture of the country.
Fiesta de San Jerónimo timeline
The future Patron Saint of Librarians, Saint Jerome, is born in present-day Croatia.
Saint Jerome peacefully dies in Syria at the age of 80.
Saint Jerome’s church is built in Spain during the reign of Henry IV of Castile.
Nicaraguan constitution ratifies September 30 as an official public holiday in the honor of Fiesta de San Jerónimo.
Fiesta de San Jerónimo FAQs
How long does the festival of San Jerónimo last?
Fiesta de San Jerónimo is the longest festival in Latin America, and it goes on for 75 to 80 days in Masaya, the cultural town of Nicaragua.
What is the most important public holiday in Nicaragua?
La Purisima (Christmas) is the most important public holiday in Nicaragua.
Who is the patron saint of Masaya?
The Virgin of the Assumption is the patron saint of Masaya.
Fiesta de San Jerónimo Activities
Saint Jerome is responsible for the Latin translation of the “Bible,” which is the bedrock of its English translation. On the eve of his celebration, attend mass and express your gratitude towards the saint.
Take a day off
Get into the spirit of festivities by taking a day off from work and spending time in a social setting or with your community. Celebrate with your friends and family.
Prepare a Nicaraguan feast
Fiesta de San Jerónimo is a great time to appreciate the culture and traditions of Nicaragua, including the incredible local dishes such as ‘chicheño,’ ‘cususa’ (fermented corn), ‘angel chicha,’ and ‘chicha of coyol.’
5 Enchanting Facts About Masaya’s Patron Saint Jerome
He lived in Rome
Saint Jerome resided in Rome and assisted the operations of Pope Saint Damase.
His full name
His full Latin name is Eusebius Hieronymus.
A scholar of his time
Saint Jerome’s considered the most learned Latin father of his time.
A polyglot of sorts
Saint Jerome mastered Italian, Aramaic, Latin, Hebrew, and Greek and propagated the Old Testament in all five languages.
A proponent of Latin
Saint Jerome established a papal library in Rome and revised the “New Testament” to produce a standard Latin text for the “Bible.”
Why We Love Fiesta de San Jerónimo
It’s the annual reaffirmation of faith
Fiesta de San Jerónimo made notable contributions to the church, including the Latin translation of the Bible, for its English translation. The English-speaking world can thank the Saint for introducing Christianity to the West.
It’s a cultural event
The nation's largest cultural and economic celebration is Fiesta de San Jerónimo. Local artisans and vendors make the most money at the numerous temporary sales kiosks and stalls in public areas. Ritual dances accompany the celebrations, and free traditional food gets provided to the general population.
It is the longest festival in Masaya
San Jerónimo festivities begin on August 15 and go on till the first week of August. The Catholics of Masaya pledge nearly two months to the cause and celebrate each day with great joy.
Fiesta de San Jerónimo dates