Poets, feasts and sugary sweets: Festivals to kick off 2015

January is one of the most exciting months for festivals in Nicaragua (do I say that every month?) and the following three are only a small selection of the 22+ that are going on.

In the third week of January they celebrate a poet,
La Fiesta Dariana it’s called but we knew that you know it.

There are readings, writings, folklore dancing,
Orchestras, concerts and horses prancing.

Competitions will happen and none too few,
Of kids murals, desserts and poetry readings too.

Outside of Matagalpa is a small town
Called Ciudad Dario, where this will go down.

If Ruben Dario’s hand were alive there are many who would kiss it,
But party instead and wouldn’t want to miss it.

Eat, drink and enjoy one of the most exciting and authentic celebrations in the country on Jan. 20 during the Feast of San Sebastian in Diriamba. While the party runs from the 17-27, today is the main feast day. In addition to food, food and more food, all the famous Nica traditional dancers such as the Toro Huaco and Gueguense will be present. Perhaps it is the novelty of foreign visitors or perhaps it is the Nica hospitality but tourists are treated very well and nobody leaves hungry.

Perhaps the sweetest festival of all happens on the 31st in Santa Teresa, Carazo. It’s the celebration of the town’s namesake. But in addition to the bull riding, fireworks and the appearance of the Black Christ from a neighboring village, the highlight is the melcocha, or sugary confection sculptures. These aren’t just pretty candies, these are true works of edible art made with loving care.  You can find sculptures of angels and…well, all I have ever seen were angels. Send me a photo if you see sculptures of anything else.

There is also a large population of dentists that live here. Coincidence?

These are a few of the January 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.

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