Selasa, 13 Desember 2016

Dominican Republic Holidays – The Fiestas Patronales

Largely influenced by Spanish culture, the Dominican Republic is really a country known to its string of Fiestas Patronales. Fiestas Patronales or patronage festivals are celebrations held in honor of various saints which have been adopted by towns or municipalities. Inside the Dominican Republic, there will be many Fiestas Patronales celebrated every year, with each month seeing the celebration of around 12 holidays. Daily, it seems, Dominican Republic celebrates regional Fiestas Patronales. 

Most towns inside the Dominican Republic have their very own celebrations of the Patron Saints. Typically, the celebrations start upon the Friday – approximately 1 week – preceding the prescribed date from the feast. The Sunday until the feast date is celebrated by parades of 'imahenes' or images from the Saints being celebrated which are usually made of wood. 

Upon the appointed date from the feast, Dominicans gather to start out the local celebration, as well as on some occasions national celebrations, which include the parade from the images from the saint being commemorated, the parade of street dancers and performers, live band music, prayers, gastronomic feasts, and in fact, street parties. The assortment of activities varies slightly in one Patron Saint to a different, and in one town to a different. Apparently, although the Catholic ceremonies and services are held, the majority from the celebration is anything but very religious. 

Starting the year is among the most significant Fiesta Patronal from the Dominican Republic – the Virgen de Altagracia. It‘s celebrated as the foremost important religious day inside the nation, and that is participated by lots and lots of devoted Dominicans. In 1922, Pope Pius XI crowned the Virgen de la Altagracia like the Spiritual Mother from the country. 

Legend has it the image of Our Lady of Altagracia which was a brought by 2 men to Hispaniola in 1502 performed a miracle which has later encouraged the first Spanish settlers to construct the very first church inside the province called Higuey. Nowadays, lots and lots of pilgrims and devotees pray and visit the Basilica of Altagracia that in Higuey showing their devotion towards the Virgin Mother of Christ. 

Perhaps the foremost important Fiesta Patronal celebrated inside the Dominican Republic, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, also referred to as Our Lady of Mercedes and Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, is held every 24th of September. It‘s a non-working holiday that commemorates the adopted Patron Saint from the Dominican people. This celebration is distinct since it is specifically celebrated by way a pilgrimage to Saint Cerro's shrine close to the city of La Vega. 

There will be lots of other fiestas patronales celebrated through the entire country. From the start of the year to finished, there isn‘t any shortage of Catholic festivities inside the Dominican Republic. In the end, it‘s a Spanish practice and has grown to be the Domincans' practice to associate each town having a patron saint. Although the foremost famous include feasts which are celebrated in Santo Domingo and Higuey because of their distinct method of celebrating their festivities – with joyous parades and artful costumes. 

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