Among the best ways to enjoy the Caribbean is to visit the Dominican Republic during one of its most Festive Holidays. Although celebrations, Street Parties and performances are held year round, there are particular Festivities that people enjoy the most. Among them are following:
On top of the serene beaches and the beautiful Dominican people, the most popular images of the Republic are composed mainly of the Mardi Gras-like festival called the Carnival.
The Carnaval is a month-long celebration that falls in February. It culminates on the last week of the month, usually on the 26th or 27th and is participated by over a Hundred Thousand people, local and tourists alike, in many towns nationwide. It is one of those holidays that are waited with so much anticipation as it offers not only the Festivities typical of the Dominicans, but also a wide array of experiences that are meant to electrify the participants.
The Carnaval has a long history of celebration. The first Carnaval took place in 1520 in La Vega where the most spirited celebrations are held today. Other provinces, on the other hand, hold their own versions of the Carnaval. Santiago, for example, celebrates it twice in a year one in February, another in August. In Puerto Plata, the celebrations showcase the culmination of the all the cultures found in the Dominican Republic from African influences to European elements.
What is Carnaval without the traditional characters? Carnavals are known for producing Distinct Characters that are mostly medieval in features. La Vega owns the most Recognizable Characters in the entire nation the ‘Diablo Cojuelo’ or the Limping Dragon.
The Festival del Santo Cristo de Bayaguana
With a tradition that began with the offering of a bull to the Santo Cristo for rainfall in 1604, the Festival del Santo Cristo de Bayaguana has come a long way in the Dominican Republic’s culture. In the years following the first bull offering, miracles have Happened that have been closely connected with the festival. Among them is the apparition of Jesus Christ to a young girl. This was said to have caused the girl’s mother’s vision to return.
Nowadays, although the festival remains pagan in features, it is mostly dedicated for the Catholic Church. The proceeds of the festivals are usually used in Church programs in the province.
The Festival del Santo Cristo de Bayaguana is a mixture of solemn celebrations and the Dominicans’ unique way of honoring Festivities. Prayers and hymns go alongside dancing, singing, and of course, feasting.
The Dominicans take pride in their traditional musical instruments. This is why every year, from the third week of July into the first of August, they celebrate a musical festival known as the Meringue Festival
Meringue acts, musicians and performers all over the world gather in the province of Santo Domingo to showcase the true Dominican music every year.
If you are looking to truly enjoy the Dominican Republic holidays, visit the country on the days when its Festivities are at their peak.