Nicaragua » Folklore
Nicaragua is without a doubt a country full of cultural manifestations and exciting folk tales that have captivated throughout centuries the imagination of the Nicaraguan people. Exciting legends, colorful stories, lively music, spoken histories, unique proverbs, funny tales, unimaginable superstitions, unique handicrafts, enduring traditions, but above all hospitable people, are simply some of the reasons to travel Nicaragua.
Preserving Nicaragua’s Vibrant Traditions and Folklore
Apart from other countries, Nicaragua’s deep love for preserving its own cultural identity has brightly passed its unique traditions and customs to current generations. The International Festival of Poetry performed in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua each year in February, has as a main ingredient, the vibrant folklore, represented through authentic folk music and original dances. When traveling Nicaragua one can also witness the colorful comedy-ballet play of “El Gueguense”, a street play created by the Nicaraguan “Mestizos” in the middle of the XVII century. "El Gueguense" has been declared by UNESCO as “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Another interesting folkloric manifestation is the “leaf-cutter ant dance” performed each year in Altagracia, Ometepe Island. But the folklore is not merely restricted to the Pacific of Nicaragua; it goes beyond borders into the Caribbean. Bluefields, Pearl Lagoons, the Corn Islands and other important Nicaraguan Caribbean destinations also have their own unique identity, where the colorful and traditional “May Pole” festival mixes history, customs, culinary heritage, and especially lively dances and cheers.
Legend and Folktales
Most of the Nicaraguan legends are originated from the colonial turbulent period that Nicaragua lived under the Spanish conquistadors. During your travel in Nicaragua one will find many interesting stories or tales such as “the headless priest”, “the old ox cart”, “the golden crab”, “El cadejo”, “La Mocuana”, “La Llorona”, and other captivating stories. The colonial city of Leon each year recreates these traditional tales on the streets, enthralling the imagination of hundreds of people who participate in this unique event. More over some of these folk tales have been brilliantly created with the purpose to protect the environment such as the tale of “Chico Largo” in Ometepe Island, who decidedly punishes those doing harms to nature.
Nicaraguan Folklore Is Alive in Traditional Music
The Nicaraguan folklore is breathed in almost each social or religious activity of the country, through patron saint festivities, graceful horse parades, courageous bull-ridings, feverish saint processions, gastronomic fairs and the rhythmical sounds of popular music. The “Marimba”, a type of xylophone, is probably the most important representative musical instrument played in every Nicaraguan special event; some of these folk melodies are inspired by people, places, animals, nature, drinks, food, etc. "El Nandaimeno”, “El Zanatillo”, “Solar de Monimbo”, “La Cususa”, “Viva Leon Jodido”, and “Barrio de Pescadores” are just some of the traditional songs that have endured the influence of modern music.
Masaya, the City of Folklore
Masaya is certainly the destination you should not miss during your journey. Settled in one of the most fertile areas of the country because of active volcanoes, Masaya is popularly known as the “City of Folklore”. The city boasts to have the longest traditional Patron Festivities of Nicaragua in honor of “San Jeronimo” lasting from the end of September to December”. In order to reinforce its special title of the “City of Folklore”, Masaya organizes every Thursday night special dances and music with local folkloric groups.
Nicaragua is a country with endless opportunities to discover fascinating music and dance, a culture willing to be experienced and enjoyed. While traveling Nicaragua visitors will certainly have many opportunities to easily get immersed into one of these folkloric events. Of course ORO Travel is able to provide you with this memorable experience.