Culture Nicaragua - Discover The Traditions and Folklore!

Culture Nicaragua, - So many articles and much information is usually one sided when it comes to talk of the culture of a country. Here we want to break the mould and include not only what the extranjeros (foreigners) think but also and to my way of thinking is more important that of what the local Nicaraguans think. After all isn't it their culture. We have included both my badly translated version together for those of you more fortunate, the unedited Spanish version.

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Culture Nicaragua is a fascinating story of history as it has been and in some cases is lived. The history of Nicaragua is a colorful one including both the Mayan and Aztec cultures together with a great influence from the Spanish with a sprinkling of Caribbean culture of the Garfino.

Copyright - Dan Polley - 2006

A great part of any culture, not only culture Nicaragua, is that of the folk lore that goes with the traditions.

My Traditions.. The Purísima. Culture Nicaragua

“¿What was that?"- I awoke with a start! Bleary eyed trying to read my alarm clock. "Holy God! It's 4:00 AM."

"This is my year end holidays.. I don't want to get up this early!” – there was a brief silence, and suddenly there it was again. This I am sure, was not a dream. POOM! PUM! .... Explosions! Mortars at 4 o'clock in the morning?

What's all that about? Well, it should stop in few minutes and then I will be able to go back to my dream - so I thought, when a philharmonic band began to touch. “¡Jesús!.. Now there is parade... and mortars... at 4 o'clock of the early morning???-

Oh Great..., December the month of festivals. There are processions that are always accompanied by mortars. Usually they leave the cathedral then down the main streets of the city. The morning schedule oscillates between 5:00 and 5:30. A call to the faithful. The bishop of the city sounds the bells of the imposing old cathedral. Ah, don't forget the sparklers and screamers (the noisiest possible). The procession down my street lasts normally five or ten minutes. Today, it was different. It all began an hour early with philharmonic band included...

“¡Ah! Clearly! Today is seven of December”... Is eve of the Immaculate Conception of María... Today it is celebrated “The Shouting”.

I could not get to sleep. So I got up. I dressed and I left quickly attracted by an unusual curiosity, I saw the procession advance... A picturesque moment one paved in silence of the old colonial city, in the environment mixed of catholic fervor and secular festivity. Perhaps all be owed synchronize religious of the aborigines toward the catholic saints.

What certain thing is that the tradition is about four hundred years old extending throughout Nicaragua. In Leon, the old Nicaraguan capital, “The Shouting” has two dates, an is December 7 or day of “The Shouting”, and the other is August 14. The “Tiny Shouting” because only it has been celebrated in Leon for the past sixty years. - According to a local little old lady who explained this to me. In both cases the tradition itself is due to the intercession of the Virgin Mary to appease the Fury of the volcanic nature of the rustic Nicaraguan geography.

The original city of Leon was destroyed by the volcano Momotombo about 1610. That is the reason why the Franciscan friars prayed to the Virgin Mary. To gain the acceptance of the aborigines, the friars thought by presenting them with beverages and delicacies which were distributed only to whom they sang and they prayed with devotion. Nowadays, the tradition is popular especially among the children, although this tradition has not lost its religious charisma. This tradition is often compare with the American Halloween. The children go traveling through the city, from altar to altar –wherever there is one- singing and praying to the Virgin Mary.

“The Shouting” began that afternoon when the bishop gave the shout: “¿Who causes so much happiness? “ And the faithful catholic town responded: “¡The Conception of María!”.

Until you have experienced this little tidbit of culture Nicaragua you just do not know what you are missing. Especially can you imagine those souls who are still partying at this hour and all of a sudden a little of Nicaraguan culture kicks in... "Oh the last one was a doozy... Maybe it is time that I go home and try to sleep some of this off. Or maybe I should stop by the iglesia (church)and experience another part of culture Nicaragua. I am sure my mother would appreciate if I would."

For the Spanish version of Culture Nicaragua, My Traditions.. The Purísima click here.

Learn Spanish Learn Spanish Today Learn Spanish - Learn Spanish on-line for free, using interactive audio/visual lessons.

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If you have experienced some of culture Nicaragua and their folk lore please share them with us by clicking here.