- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Expect all public offices to be closed on the following days. Also remember that Nicaraguan holidays are subject to decree, shutting the banks down without warning to suit some politician’s inclination.
- January 1: New Year’s Day
- Late March/early April: Semana Santa, including Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter
- May 1: Labor Day
- May 30: Mother’s Day
- July 19: National Liberation Day
- August 1: Fiesta Day
- September 14: Battle of San Jacinto
- September 15: Independence Day
- November 2: Día de los Muertes (All Souls’ Day)
- December 8: La Purísima (Immaculate Conception)
- December 25: Christmas Day
Other Holidays and Fiestas
Like the rest of Latin America, every single town and city has its own patron saint whom the residents honor each year with a prolonged party that lasts 1-3 weeks. These fiestas patronales combine holy religious fervor with the consumption of alcohol in biblical proportions. Most celebrations include include Virgin and Saint parades, special masses, fireworks, cockfighting, rodeos, concerts, gambling, dances, and show-horse parades (hípicos). Many towns have additional celebrations of specific events in their history.
Semana Santa (or Holy Week) is the biggest celebration of the year, occurring during the week leading up to Easter Sunday. The weeklong vacation sends most city folk to the beach for sun and debauchery (and usually a couple of drownings, too) while shops close their doors and everyone takes a breather.
In popular beach areas like San Juan del Sur, expect hiked prices and few vacancies. In other areas, you may also encounter altered bus schedules and other travel annoyances.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition