July 16 - Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Religious festivities, accompanied by salves, a typical call and response song,
atabal (Dominican long drum) playing, prayers, songs and dance. It is celebrated
in the communities of Andrés (Distrito Nacional), Doña Ana (San
Cristóbal), Jarabacoa (La Vega), Duvergé (Independencia), Santiago
Rodríguez, Villa Trina (Espaillat). Duarte chose July 16, 1838 to found
la Trinitaria, a political group that supported national independence.
July 25 - San Santiago
Festival that originated from popular Spanish religion syncretized with African
cultural elements. In the realm of Dominican popular religion, or voodoo, this
saint is known as Ogún Balenyó, warrior, head of the division,
spouse of Metresilí, an incarnation of the Virgin, and he is identified
by the color blue.
July 26 - Santa Ana
Festivals for the patron Saint of Navarrete, San Francisco de Macorís
and Enriquillo. Throughout the years, the field workers of San Francisco de
Macorís entered the town for the Catholic religious ceremonies, singing
salves and playing atabales. In almost all the centers of popular religion in
the country, activities are held in honor of the most loved and admired metresa,
or voodoo goddess, Ana Isa Pie Dantó. She is the queen of provocation
and love, a symbol of feminine liberation, a lover of perfumes and beer, whose
color is yellow.
August 4 - Santo Domingo de Guzmán
This festival is celebrated in honor of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, patron
saint of the city of Santo Domingo. The patron saint festival is also celebrated
in the community of Matanzas (province of Peravia).
August 10 - San Lorenzo
Religious celebrations in honor of San Lorenzo in the populous sector of Los
Mina (eastern Santo Domingo), which originated in the second half of the 17th
century among escaped slaves that took up residence in that location.
August 14 - Toros ofrendas de Higüey (Higüey bull offerings)
A celebration begun at the Basílica Menor Nuestra Señora de la
Altagracia with the arrival of bulls offered by believers to the Virgin for
prayers answered. This ritual also incorporates a time of preparation that starts
with the journey of the devoted through the rural communities, collecting bulls
to offer to the Virgin while praying, singing salves and playing atabales.
August 15 - Nuestra Señora de Agua Santa
Religious festivities celebrated in Boyá (province of San Cristóbal)
in honor of Nuestra Señora de Agua Santa, an incarnation of the Virgin.
August 18 - Santa Helena and San Bartolomé
Festivities in Cabral (Barahona province), in honor of San Bartolomé.
August 30 - Santa Rosa de Lima
Patron saint festival in La Romana in honor of this saint that, according to
oral tradition, was conceived in this city and was born in Perú when
her parents emigrated.
August 31 - San Ramón Nonato
Patron of midwives and pregnant women.
September 7-8 - Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
Celebrations in honor of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios in Azua, Cabral
(Barahona province) and Dajabón.
September 14 - Santa Cruz
Exaltation of the cross of Christ. Patron saint festival in the city of Mao
(province of Valverde) in honor of Santísima Cruz, the place where the
Battle of la Barranquita occurred, which was a nationalist uprising against
the U.S. military intervention of 1916.
September 15 - Virgen de los Dolores
Festival corresponding to popular religion in honor of Metresilí, or
the metresa, the Dominican voodoo goddess that is a symbol of delicacy and tenderness,
whose color is pink.
September 23-24 - Virgen de las Mercedes
National festival in honor of the Virgen de Las Mercedes, patron saint of the
nation and of Constanza (La Vega province), Cabrera (María Trinidad Sánchez,
Hato Mayor, Pimentel (province of Duarte)) and Santo Cerro (La Vega province).
According to popular tradition, this virgin appeared in a battle between the
conquistadores and the Indians and favored the Spanish powers, not the native
September 26 - San Cosme and San Damián
In the Dominican popular tradition, these saints are known as fraternal twins
that have curative powers.
September 29 - San Miguel Arcángel
Popular celebration in honor of Belié Belcán, the voodoo spirit
of Saint Michael, head of the division of the Radá, and the most highly
regarded of the spirits at the national level. His colors are red and green.
October 4 - San Francisco de Asis (Saint Francis of Assisi)
Celebrations in honor of the saint in the province of Duarte, Cabrera, Bánica
(province of Elias Piña). On the same day, the patron saint festivities
in honor of Nuestra Señora del Rosario are celebrated in Barahona, Dajabón
October 12 - Nuestra Señora del Pilar
These patron saint festivities are celebrated in honor of Nuestra Señora
del Pilar en Cívicos (province Sánchez Ramírez) in Sabana
de la Mar. October 12 is also the date in which the "Discovery of America"
is celebrated. It is also known as el Día de la Raza, to commemorate
the date of the beginning of the cultural collision between Europeans and the
different ethnicities that existed on the American continent at the moment of
October 15 - Santa Teresa
Celebrations for Santa Teresa, patron saint of Elías Piña.
October 20 - Santa Marta
Celebration of popular religious rituals in honor of Santa Marta la Dominidora,
a saint in Dominican syncretistic worship.
October 23-24 - San Rafael
Festivities of San Rafael, celebrated as a patron saint in Piedra Blanca (La
Vega province), Villa Rivas (Duarte province) Yuma (La Altagracia province),
El Llano (province of Elías Piña) and la Aguada (Samaná).
October 28 - San Judas Tadeo
Patron saint festivities accompanied by prayers, praises, atabales and salves
in the community of Escondido, close to Baní, in the sectors of Sabana
Perdida and Herrera in Santo Domingo. The same day is the anniversary of the
Unversidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, created through the Papal Bull
of Pope Paul III (1538), the first university of the New World.
November 2 - Fieles Difuntos (All Souls)
The faithful souls are honored on this day, as thousands of people flock to
cemeteries to prepare the graves of their dead, bring flowers, pray, etc. In
the context of popular religion, the community gives offerings like money, candles,
etc. through San Elías, head of the division of the Guedés, the
spirits of the dead.
November 4 - San Carlos Borromeo
Celebrations in his honor in the traditional neighborhood of San Carlos, celebrated
through masses, prayers, etc. On this day, his followers dress themselves in
November 21 - Nuestra Señora de Regla
Festival in her honor in Peravia, with prayers, processions, praises, songs
and masses, ending at night with her novena, a devotion performed to receive
November 22 - Santa Cecilia
Patron saint of musicians. Masses and festivals are celebrated in her honor.
November 25 - Day of No Violence against Women
In 1960, the dictator Rafael L. Trujillo killed the Sisters Patria, Minerva
and María Teresa Mirabal Reyes, symbols of the fight for Dominican democracy.
November 30 - San Andrés
Popular festivities originating from the colonial era are celebrated, when
people went out into the street and tossed dust, talcum or flour. On this date,
the festival of this patron saint is celebrated in the town of Andrés,
Boca Chica (Distrito Nacional).
December 4 - Santa Bárbara
Festivities in her honor in the neighborhood of the same name in Santo Domingo.
In the city of Samaná, patron saint festivals are celebrated in her honor.
December 8 - Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception)
The patron saint festivities are celebrated in the city of La Vega, Cotuí
(province of Sánchez Ramírez), Ramón Santana (province
of San Pedro de Macorís) and in el Sombrero in Baní.
December 13 - Santa Lucía
Accompanied by salves, atabales, prayers, masses and invocations, the patron
saint festival is celebrated in Las Matas de Farfán (San Juan de la Maguana
province) as well as in Fundación (province of Peravia) and Peñón
December 24 - Nochebuena (Christmas Eve, literally, Good Night)
Festival that originated in the colonial Catholic tradition, slowly shaped
by Dominican traditions, influenced today by U.S. culture. Though the people
still place the traditional nativities in Christmas trees, foreign elements
are included, such as snow in the tree and Santa Claus, or Father Christmas.
On this night, Dominican families come together to share a dinner of dishes
like roasted pork, chicken, Russian salad, the traditional Dominican dish of
moro de guandules, traditional desserts like pastel en hoja, pastelitos, los
lerenes and buen pan. The family also eats sweets and drinks a traditional punch
of rum, eggs and wine.
December 25 - Niño Jesús
December 27 - San Juan Evangelista
Religious, social and sporting festivities for the patron saint of the city
December 28 - Bulls of Bayaguana
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