Festivals are more frequent in the latter part of the year and October is a testament to that. The three-month celebration of San Jeronimo in and around Masaya is in full swing, Oktoberfest happens this month and that doesn’t even touch on the other annual events going on around the country.
Schtrap on your lederhosen and wisit zee little willage auf Matagalpa for the festival of Polkas and Oktoberfest. Actually it’s the festival of polkas, mazurkas and jamaquellos, three styles of music as popular as rice up in the mountains. It is sponsored by INTUR and usually falls on the 4th. But the German influence doesn’t end there. Oktoberfest is an annual event hosted by Kuhl family at La Selva Negra. Beer, sausage, polka and, probably lederhosen will all be spilled, eaten, played and worn on the weekend of the 18 – 19.
The Torovenado festivals are definitely not to be missed. The are part of the satirical Nica culture that dates back to pre-colonial days. The celebrations feature parades of people dressed up as wild animals, devils and caricatures of politicians and whoever is in the news as of late. Don’t be surprised to see a Daniel Ortega or two, his wife Rosario and I would bet at least one person dressed as a fat Chinese guy with a shovel in his hand. The Torovenado de los Caminatos de Gloria should happen in Monimbo, Masaya on the 19th. If you can’t make it, check out the smaller, more traditional celebration that usually falls on the 24th in Masatepe. They also have their local custom of the Dance of the Giant Fish. Not much more to say about that. It’s a giant fish that dances.
On Friday the 24th hold on to your horns for one of the wildest, scariest, devilishly fun celebrations this side of the gates of hell. It is called Los Aguizotes and takes place in Masaya. This isn’t your typical American-style Halloween parade sporting that kid whose cheap parents dressed him as a ghost and the dude with a Pepsi can costume he bought at Wal-mart. This is the volume knob turned up to 11. Imagine a horde of thousands of monsters, devils, beasts and zombies dragging their way through the streets. Parents be warned: this isn’t exactly a kid-friendly party unless you’re child is accustomed to hundreds of Beelzebubs rattling chains in their faces. Yes, scaring women and children is part of the act. Even this 35-year-old man was a bit shaken when an ogre swatted my windshield with a pair of live buzzards he had tied to a stick. Perhaps I will see you there.
These are a few of the October celebrations in my new book, the NCX Guide to Festivals and Events in Nicaragua, a travel guide that lists over 200+ fiestas throughout the year.