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    Dominicana On Line - El Portal de la República Dominicana


    January 1 - New Year

    The year begins with a New Year celebration. From the night before, parties are held in the streets, plazas and houses. Some people traditionally wear white or new clothing, burn incense and change some goods in the house for good luck.

    Santo Cristo de los Milagros de Bayaguana.

    A religious and popular festival celebrated since the beginning of the Spanish colonization and after the devastation of Osorio in 1605-06. This worship festival enjoys great popular acceptance, as people make a pilgrimage to this community to participate in the festivities, which include a series of events like the offering and sale of bulls (whose proceeds go to the Church) and the procession, with songs in competition, prayers, praises, while ginger tea, coffee and food, accompanied by beef, are prepared.

    January 6 - the Wise Men

    A popular festival, especially for children, who, the night before, leave sweets, mint candies, and cigarettes for the kings, as well as grass and water for the camels underneath their beds or the Christmas tree, and hope for presents in exchange. On the fifth, in Santo Domingo, a parade of Wise Men on horses takes place.

    January 21 - Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia or Virgen de la Altagracia

    This is the most widespread religious and popular festival in the country. Festivities are dedicated to the Patron Saint of the Dominican people, in the Basílica de Higüey, starting on January 12 with novenas and including masses, prayers, songs, petitions, praises and, above all, a pilgrimage toward Higüey accompanied by drums. The celebration of popular worship is held at the national level: in Arroyo Hondo (in Baní), Cabrera (María Trinidad Sánchez), Catañuelas (Montecristi), Pedernales, La Victoria (Distrito Nacional), Villa Altagracia (San Cristóbal), Nagua (María Trinidad Sánchez), Las Yayas (Azua), Río Arriba (Peravia), Monte Plata, Paraíso (Bahoruco), Acosta (Samaná), La Montería (Peravia) and Nizao (Peravia), among others.

    February 2 - Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria

    Religious and popular festival celebrated in the sector of San Carlos, a neighborhood of Santo Domingo, in Guerra (Prov. Monte Plata) and Sabana Grande de Boyá (Province of San Cristóbal).

    February 16 - San Elías or el Barón del Cementerio.

    In centers of popular religion, a day of worship to San Elías or the Barón del Cementerio, head of the Guedé division, a part of Dominican voodoo, is celebrated in an act of syncretism, as he is identified as the first person buried in the cemetery. The faithful followers of this deity give offerings of food, flowers, candles, songs and prayers and ask favors of all sorts on this day, Monday and November 2, Día de los Fieles Difuntos, or All Souls' Day.

    March 3-4 - San Benito de Palermo

    Religious and social festivities belonging to the community of Guayabal (Azua), where salves, traditional Dominican call and response songs, are accompanied by atabales, typical Dominican long drums.

    March - April - Lent

    The Lenten period begins with Ash Wednesday, a ritual that announces the 40 days of fasting and prayer in preparation for Holy Week.
    During the period, traditional Lenten dishes are prepared, such as fish and seafood, vegetables, cod and traditional beans or habas con dulce.

    Holy Week

    A product of Dominican-Haitian cultural syncretism, during the last days of Holy Week, specifically Thursday to Friday. The religious ritual is celebrated in the bateyes, or worker settlements, of Gagá, by mixing African, Haitian and Dominican musical and dance elements.
    During the Holy Friday and Saturday, in communities in the south of the country, costumed men wearing devil masks as a sign of fertility emerge with foetes (wooden sticks) in hand.

    April 14 - La Dolorita

    Religious and popular festival in honor of La Dolorita the most venerated virgin in the community of Los Morenos in Villa Mella. During this celebration, salves and prayers are sung and atabales are played and all of the members of the community participate.

    April 19 - San Expedito

    Religious and popular rituals in honor of San Expedito, also called Guedé Nibó, the patron saint of youth, family, the elderly and the duties of the State and business, especially of corner convenience stores.

    April 23 - Día Internacional del Libro and de San Jorge

    The Feria Internacional del Libro, the International Book Fair, is the largest exhibition of books and cultural activities in the country. The book show and store is accompanied by a program of cultural events carried out by the student population.

    May 1 - San José Obrero

    Popular celebration in Villa Jaragua (province of Bahoruco) and in the parish of Ensanche Ozama.

    May 2-3 - Santísima Cruz de Mayo

    It is one of the oldest and most popular festivals of the country. Celebrated from colonial times, it originated from the discovery of the cross of Christ by Saint Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine. In the country, crosses or crucifixes are decorated, altars are constructed and processions are held with drums and salves. The celebration is important in the provinces of San Cristóbal and Peravia.

    May 3 - San Felipe

    Celebration of the patron festivities in Imbert and the city of Puerto Plata in the province of the same name.

    May 13 - Nuestra Señora de Fátima

    Religious and popular celebrations in honor of the Virgin in Villa Sinda (Province of Montecristi), Galván (province of Bahoruco), Arenoso (province of Duarte) and Hondo Valle (Samaná).

    May 15 - San Isidro Labrador

    Celebrations in honor of the saint in Castillo (province of Duarte), Luperón (Puerto Plata) and Las Caobas (Santiago Rodríguez), among other communities.

    May 21 - (moveable) Espíritu Santo

    One of the oldest and most important festivals of the country, celebrated since the Spanish colony. The celebration has special relevance in Villa Mella and its surrounding areas, in which the Cofradía Congos de Villa Mella, a percussion brotherhood, declared World Heritage by UNESCO, plays congo music in the spirit's honor and has done so since the 18th century. The Catholic Church celebrates Pentecost. The Batey de San Juan de la Maguana celebrates the festival of Saint John the Baptist.

    May 22 - Death of Olivorio Mateo

    In San Juan de la Maguana, the anniversary of the death of the leader of the most important messianic movement in the country, which occurred in 1922. Parties and processions are held in his honor in San Juan de la Maguana and other localities.

    May 30 - San Fernando
    Patron festivals in honor of the saint in the city of Montecristi on the date of its founding.

    June 13 - San Antonio de Papua

    Festivities for the patron saint are celebrated in the communities of Bonao (Monseñor Nouel), Guerra (Monte Plata), La Victoria (Distrito Nacional, Villa Riva, Prov. Duarte), Monción (Santiago Rodríguez), Miches (El Seibo). The celebrations are accompanied by the singing of salves, the playing of atabales and prayers. The most representative activity of the celebration is the dance of la Comarca.

    June 18 - Fiestas del Espíritu Santo
    This festival is one of the oldest celebrated in the national territory and is a demonstration of Afro-Dominican religious syncretism. The Cofradía Los Congos del Espíritu Santo de Villa Mella, a declared World Heritage, participates.

    June 22 - Thursday of Corpus Christi

    Celebration of the Catholic liturgy, one of the oldest celebrated in American and Santo Domingo. It contributes to carnival and is known in the popular realm as "The day that the Donkey talked".

    June 23-24 - San Juan Bautista

    Festival that dates back to colonial times, celebrated in communities like Baní, San Juan, el Naranjo (Barahona), Bayaguana (Monte Plata), Santiago and Santo Domingo. In this celebration, atabales are played, salves are sung, the people pray and horse races are held. The Sarandunga (in Peravia) is one of the most important musical manifestations, as it reflects Afro-Dominican cultural syncretism.

    June 29 - San Pedro and San Pablo

    Celebrations for the patron saints in the communities of San Pedro de Macorís, las Salinas (Barahona), el Cercado (San Juan de la Maguana and Fundación (Peravia)). In San Pedro de Macorís, a characteristic element of the festival is the participation of the Guloyas, or dance groups, which perform traditional Dominican dances.

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