Maracay Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela)




A devout Catholic country, most events across Venezuela's cities, towns and villages are linked with saints' days or great festivals and follow the Christian calendar. Top things to do and see in Maracay include the exciting Carnaval processions in February and the fun-packed Festival of San Jose each March.

The Corpus Christi / Semana Santa festivities at Easter time are the number one event in Venezuela, with lots of exciting parades and religious gatherings throughout Maracay. A series of local events also celebrate the country's fight for independence from Spanish rule and the national heroes who made it happen. Worth noting, cultural, film and classical music festivals rarely happen outside the capital city of Caracas.


Maracay Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • New Year's Day (Ano Nuevo) - starts at midnight on New Year's Eve with fireworks and cheering crowds, and continues throughout January 1st, with street parties and parades all over the country. This day is a national holiday throughout Venezuela
  • Day of Epiphany - January 6th, a major family holiday in Venezuela, with children receiving gifts on this special day

February


  • Virgen de la Candeleria - a national religious celebration taking place across the country. Parades of sacred images of the Virgin Mary culminate in masses and family get-togethers, and the evening brings music, dancing and dining
  • Carnaval (Carnival) - with lively carnival parades staged each year in February, leading up to Ash Wednesday

March


  • Maracay Festival of San Jose - celebrates the city's patron saint's day and is the city's premier fiesta, with bullfights, concerts, cultural activities and exciting street parties
  • Easter / Holy Week - late March / early April, in this Catholic country Holy Week involves a week of religious events and masses, as well as street processions, masked dances and cultural festivities all over the country. Dates vary due to the Christian calendar

April


  • Declaration of Independence (Declaracion de Independencia) - April 19th, the beginning of the country's quest for independence on this day in 1810 is remembered on this public holiday

May


  • Labour Day (Dia del Trabajador) - May 1st, a national holiday known for its marches and occasional protests, as well as for local celebrations
  • Los Diablos Danzantes - takes place yearly on changing May dates. Masked devils dance in the streets to furious drum rhythms and the whole town goes crazy! This 'don't-miss' event takes place in San Francisco de Yare

June


  • Batalla de Carabobo (Batalla de Carabobo) - June 24th, one of the decisive battles in the country's struggle for independence, celebrated in many towns on this day each June

July


  • Independence Day (Dia de la Independencia) - July 5th, held across the country as a national holiday with feasts, fiestas, music and dance
  • Virgen of El Carmen - July 16th, staged across the state of Vargas, with processions, parades, masses and fun
  • Simon Bolivar's Birthday (Cumpleanos de Bolivar) - July 24th, a national holiday honouring the famous founder of modern-day Venezuela

August


  • National Flag Day (Dia de la Bandera) - moved from March 12th to August 3rd and hosted in honour of Francisco de Miranda, a Venezuelan revolutionary widely considered to be the forerunner of Simon Bolivar

September


  • Fiesta de Nuestra Senora del Valle - the celebration of Margarita town's saint's day. Expect processions, feasting and lots of church-going

October


  • El Hatillo Music Festival - kicks off in El Hatillo's central plaza and other venues in November, with bands performing jazz, rock and folk music. Dates are known to slightly vary each year
  • Day of Indigenous Resistance (Dia de la Resistencia Indigena) - October 12th, a holiday paying tribute to one of the world's most famous explorers, Christopher Columbus, commemorating the time he spent in the Americas

November


  • Day of the Dead - November 1st, also known as All Saint's Day (Dia de Todos los Santos), this is an important religious festival when families come together to honour their ancestors and deceased relatives
  • Fair of the Chinese (Feria of La Chinita) - November 17th to 19th, Chinese communities all over Venezuela remember their roots during this national holiday
  • Festival Internacional de Musica de Camara - late November, based in the nearby village of Colonia Tovar, around an hour away and to the north-east

December


  • San Benito el Moro - takes place during Christmas (Navidad) week and honours St. Benedict the Moor, the patron saint of villages around Lake Maracaibo, who is portrayed as a black man with Creole characteristics. This festival always involves vast quantities of the local rum







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