Festivals and holidays in the Dominican Republic are celebrated with vigor and plenty of musical accompaniments. From religious celebrations to effervescent carnivals, the joy is contagious and the atmosphere exhilarating.
The dominance of Catholicism within society has a direct effect on national holidays in the Dominican Republic and the way in which they are celebrated. Christmas and Easter are the most important Dominican holidays, and the family unit is considered to be a central characteristic of them all.
There are other National Days in the Dominican Republic that are unique to their history. These include Día de la Altagracía, a celebration of the patron saint of the Dominican people; Duarte’s Day, commemorating the birth of their national hero Juan Duarte; Independence Day and Restoration day, both marking independence from Haiti and Spain respectively.
A key part of Dominican holidays are the Fiestas Patronales, which serve to celebrate the smaller communities within the nation. Every town has its own Patron Saint, who is said to protect the inhabitants, and annual feasts are held in their honor.
If you are planning on taking a vacation to the Dominican Republic, then February is definitely the time to come if you want to take part in the most colorful national event. The Dominican Carnaval has been running since the 19th century and is the perfect source for experiencing the true Dominican spirit. The month-long event is bursting full of color and tradition, with events, parades and competitions held regularly.