An 18th century painting of Saint Dominic, a miracle worker who reportedly brought four people back from the dead.

Each August, Managua celebrates its patron saint Saint Dominic (Santo Domingo). The Miracle of Saint Dominic by Antonio Balestra (public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.

Las Fiestas Patronales each August are when Managua celebrates its patron saint Santo Domingo and are the highlight of the calendar year. On the first of the month, the saint (a diminutive little figure under a glass dome) is brought down from a small church in the hilly neighborhood of Santo Domingo and on the 10th he is returned. On both those dates, and for much of the time in between, Managua celebrates. Expect parades, horse shows, unlimited quantities of beer and rum, and a lot of fun and colors. INTUR sponsors a series of events during this time, like Las Noches Agostinas, featuring cultural presentations and live music throughout the capital.

Every July 19th since 1979, Nicaraguans have celebrated the final victory against Somoza during the Sandinista revolution. July 19th celebrations bring out the Sandinista party faithful, with a rally and presentations in Plaza de la Fé and a show choreographed by President Ortega’s wife Rosario Murillo. The truly devout stay through Ortega’s predictable and lengthy speech at the end, and carry on celebrating into the wee hours.

If you are in Managua during the first few weeks of December, be sure to catch the massive INPYME crafts fair on Avenida Bolívar—arts, crafts, and food from all over the country, plus a two-week carnival. Expica is a permanent farming-related exhibition site in Barrio Acahualinca (Casa Pellas, two blocks west and one block north, tel. 505/2266-9634) and where in August ranchers descend upon the capital to exhibit and sell breeding stock, and generally show off their latest SUVs, ill-concealed revolvers, and beer-swilling prowess on the bar stool. The Nicaraguan cowboy elite show hundreds of some of the most magnificent and beautifully tended specimens of Brahman cattle in this part of the world, as well as impressive displays of horsemanship in the saddles of pure-bred Spanish, Peruvian, and Ibero equines.

Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Nicaragua.