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San Sebastian Festivities

  San Sebastian festivities, Diriamba
  El Güegüense, Nicaraguan traditional dance

From 17 to 27 January is celebrated the feast of Diriamba in honor of San Sebastian, conjugation between traditional dances and popular religion, overflowing the streets of Diriamba city with the most outstanding samples of Nicaraguan folklore. Is considered on of the most celebrated festivities by Nicaraguans as they highlight the indigenous and Spanish roots.


San Sebastián, was a member of the Roman Praetorian Guard, he converted to Christianity, was killed with arrows and beaten with large mallets, one of the worst tortures of the time. According to legend, along with Santiago, the patron of Jinotepe, were founded floating in large boxes in Huehuete beach.

Being that initially San Sebastian was appointed to Jinotepe and Santiago to Diriamba at night the images changed parishes, so the priest decided to leave Santiago in Jinotepe and San Sebastian in Diriamba where his devotees have more than 3 centuries of veneration.


On January 19, is celebrated a Mass, then the image of San Sebastian goes in procession to the basilica, taking place the known “tope” of the images of Santiago, San Sebastián and San Marcos. This activity is celebrated in the streets of Diriamba. San Sebastián is accompanied by traditional dances such as El Güegüense or Macho Ratón, El Viejo y la Vieja, El Toro Huaco, El Gigante and Las Inditas del Guacal.

The Güegüense is a synthesis of Spanish and indigenous cultures combining theater, dance and music. It is considered one of the most distinctive expressions of the colonial era in Latin America. In 2005 was declared by UNESCO as Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

At night a serenade is dedicated to the Patron, accompanied by mariachis in the presence of his parishioners and people who come from other places to enjoy the festivities.

During the festivities the devotees accompany the saint with dances in gratitude for the favors received during the year.

The last sunday of the celebrations a horse parade takes place, where riders attending from all over the country, showing their skills in riding as a form of greeting to the Holy.

This festival is a tradition passed from generation to generation via oral transmission from the devout families, which are very proud, and every year they keep alive the religious fervor in honor of its patron saint San Sebastian.


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