Santo Domingo Celebrations

Every August 1st, a summer celebration begins in Santo Domingo. This is a celebration where people dress up and paint themselves in red or black. It’s also a day that begins a 10-day fiesta that pays homage to the patron saint of Managua, Santo Domingo de Guzman.

This is a period when people dance and eat traditional foods, drink, march to various musical bands, and ask the saint for personal miracles — in exchange for promises they make, of course. It’s also a day when people cover themselves in hot, burned oil to take on the guise of a Black Devil.

The History of Santo Domingo Celebrations

This holiday can be traced back to 1885 when a 3-inch statue of Santo Domingo de Guzman was discovered by a peasant named Vicente Aburto. According to tradition, he discovered it while cutting down a tree on the outskirts of Managua.

Santo Domingo Celebrations

On this holiday, people dress up in colorful costumes, adorn themselves with burnt oil to look like Black Devils, and make a pilgrimage to see the statue that some of the faithful refer to as “Papito” or “Daddy.” This statue is carried through the crowds, covered in a glass ball to protect it.

This holiday is also celebrated with dancing, music, and of course, good food. Some of the foods that are enjoyed on this day include Gallo Pinto, Desayuno Nica, Indio Viejo, and Quesillo. This is a day that kicks off a great celebration that will last almost two weeks.

Where is it celebrated?
Nicaragua (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
Next year (2025)
Last year (2023)