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Santo Domingo Celebrations Start – August 1, 2023

The celebration of Santo Domingo Celebration Start is marked every year on the first day of August. Across many of Nicaragua’s cities, towns, and villages, this day is commemorated with festivities honoring patron saints. People dress up and paint their bodies red or black to participate in the festivities. The celebration honors Saint Dominic, Managua’s patron saint. Some festival-goers support the religious aspects of the festivities. In contrast, others are more enthusiastic about the party element of the event, while there are people who enjoy participating in both the events.

History of Santo Domingo Celebrations Start

Nicaragua is a country in Central America, the largest of the Central American republics. This country can be characterized by its agricultural economy, history of autocratic government, and its imbalance of regional development. The country’s name comes from Nicarao, chief of the indigenous people living around present-day Lake Nicaragua during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Nicaragua was the only country in Latin America to be colonized by the Spanish and the British. Its population mainly comprises Mestizos, a mix of European and indigenous ancestry. The national capital is Managua, the country’s largest city and home to about one-sixth of the population.

Santo Domingo Celebration Start can be traced back to 1885 when a peasant named Vicente Aburto discovered the statue of Santo Domingo de Guzman. According to tradition, he found the statue while cutting down a tree on the outskirts of Managua. Managua’s patron saint festivities are centered around the procession of Saint Dominic. The saint’s statue, which ordinarily resides in the Las Sierritas Parish Church, is transported from the church to the Santo Domingo Church in the city’s center, where it stays for a few days before being brought back to its original site in another procession.

The figurine is referred to as Minguito and is placed in a glass case set in the center of a wooden pedestal decorated with flowers of different colors and feathers. It is, in turn, carried by various people who have been blessed by having their requests granted by the saint. The procession continues, accompanied by lively music performed by local musicians, as well as participants dressed in costumes called ‘diablitos,’ ‘vaquitas,’ and ‘indios.’ The procession starts after the 6 a.m. mass at Las Sierritas Church and continues into the late afternoon with the arrival at Santo Domingo Church.

Santo Domingo Celebrations Start timeline

1502
Columbus Invades Honduras

Europeans first view Nicaragua when Christopher Columbus invades Honduras and explores the eastern coast.

1522
The First Spaniard Enters Nicaragua

Gil González Dávila is the first Spaniard to enter the region.

1821
Nicaragua Gets Independence From Spain

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua break away from Spain and declare independence.

1885
Santo Domingo Celebration Starts

The celebration starts when the statue of Santo Domingo de Guzman is discovered.

Santo Domingo Celebrations Start FAQs

Why does Nicaragua celebrate Santo Domingo?

The discovery of a small statue of Santo Domingo de Guzmán led to the creation of two days of traditional holidays to celebrate the patron saint of Nicaragua’s capital city.

What is Purisima Nicaragua?

La Purisima is a uniquely Nicaraguan celebration held on December 7, commemorating the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

Is it safe to travel to Nicaragua?

Nicaragua has the lowest violent crime rate in all of Central America.

Santo Domingo Celebrations Start Activities

  1. Dress up in a traditional costume

    Dress in colorful costumes and decorate yourself with burnt oil. You can join people who go on a pilgrimage to see the statue, which some call Papito or Daddy.

  2. Listen to traditional music

    Dance and traditional music mark the celebrations. Take this opportunity to learn a little about Nicaraguan culture and listen to and dance like a typical Nicaraguan.

  3. Eat traditional food

    The traditional Nicaraguan food includes Gallo Pinto, Desayuno Nica, Indio Viejo, and Quesillo. Enjoy these delicacies with the locals.

5 Facts About Nicaragua

  1. Topography

    The western part of Nicaragua is generally made up of valleys separated by low but rugged mountains and many volcanoes.

  2. Climate

    The climate is slightly cooler and much wetter in the east than in the west.

  3. Forests

    The forests in Nicaragua are the largest in Central America, covering more than one-third of the country.

  4. Ethnic groups

    Most Nicaraguans are Mestizos, people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry.

  5. Languages

    The vast majority of Nicaraguans speak Spanish.

Why We Love Santo Domingo Celebrations Start

  1. It celebrates traditions

    Holiday traditions are important to build a strong bond between family and communities. Celebrating these traditions gives a sense of belonging and a way to express what is essential to communities.

  2. Santo Domingo is the patron Saint of Nicaragua

    This celebration connects Nicaraguans to their history and helps them celebrate generations of family. This celebration reminds them of the discovery of the statue.

  3. It is a day to spend with your family

    Spend time with your loved ones and have a good time with them on this special day. As it is a national holiday in Nicaragua, it is an opportunity for you to take the day off and relax.

Santo Domingo Celebrations Start dates

YearDateDay
2023August 1Tuesday
2024August 1Thursday
2025August 1Friday
2026August 1Saturday
2027August 1Sunday
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