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 peoples.

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 and Moca.

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 the discovery.

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 red.

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 special graces.

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 (Barahona province).

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
In many communities, gifts are left for the children underneath the Christmas tree. As a result of foreign cultural influences, some middle and upper class families leave the presents in the name of Santa Claus or Father Christmas instead of the Baby Jesus.

December 27 – San Juan Evangelista

Religious, social and sporting festivities for the patron saint of the city of Salcedo.

December 28 – Bulls of Bayaguana
The day that begins the rituals of the bulls of Bayaguana, to conclude in the first days of January. The same day is the celebration of the Santos Inocentes. For this celebration, jokes are told, which always end with the phrase “an innocent butterfly”.

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