Category Archives: CULTURE

The Culture of the Dominican Republic.

National Symbols

Festival San Miguel

The Festival San Miguel is held yearly to celebrate El Patrono Arcángel San Miguel / The Patron Saint Archangel St. Michael, the Archangel is the patron saint of the Dominican armed forces.

Festival San Miguel Iglesia San Miguel - The image of San Miguel going down the street
Festival San Miguel Iglesia San Miguel – The image of San Miguel going down the street

San Miguel Arcángel

San Miguel Arcángel, Príncipe de la Milicia Celestial / Saint Michael the Archangel, Prince of the Celestial Militia and the Captain of the Celestial Legions. Combating the devil he leads the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. (more history of San Miguel in Spanish)

Festival San Miguel- Archangel San Miguel
Festival San Miguel- Archangel San Miguel

The festival of El Patrono Arcángel San Miguel / The Patron Saint Archangel San Miguel is held here every year on September 29th to honor this important Patron Saint. (More information about other Patron Saint celebrations throughout Dominican Republic.)

Festival San Miguel. Service at Iglesia San Miguel, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, at 7AM.
Festival San Miguel. Service at Iglesia San Miguel at 7AM.

The celebration for the Arcángel San Miguel can get a little crazy. The entire area around the Iglesia and Parque San Miguel is full of people. Many are dressed in the traditional red, green and yellow clothing. The smell of cigar smoke is everywhere, clouds of smoke billowing, as this in another tradition of the festival.

Festival San Miguel- traditional clothing red, green and yellow.
Festival San Miguel- traditional clothing red, green and yellow.

The festival starts early in the morning with a service in the Iglesia San Miguel. Roads are closed and vendors have their tables set up. They sell red and green candles, silk flags and clothing, cigars and more. The Colmados are stocked full with beer and the traditional rum that many enjoying the festival partakes of.

Festival San Miguel. Service at Iglesia San Miguel at 7AM.
Festival San Miguel. Service at Iglesia San Miguel at 7AM. Pigeons participating too.
Festival San Miguel- People fill the streets of the San Miguel sector of the Ciudad Colonial.
Festival San Miguel- People fill the streets of the San Miguel sector of the Ciudad Colonial.
Festival San Miguel-The streets filled with people
Festival San Miguel-The streets filled with people


Some Palos music and streets filled with people at the Festival San Migual in San Miguel, Zona Colonial.

The Horses and Military Take Part in the Festival

There is a celebration with horses from all over the country. These horses, both private and military, ride through the streets of the Colonial Zone and up to the festival.

Festival San Miguel. The horses heading to the Festival.
Festival San Miguel. The horses heading to the Festival.
Festival San Miguel. The Military Horses are heading to the Festival.
Festival San Miguel. The Military Horses are heading to the Festival.

The military band takes part in this important festival. Since San Miguel is the patron Saint of the Armed Forces they have a big presence in the festival. They not only participate but they also are there in force to make sure people do not get too crazy.

Festival San Miguel. The Military Band is heading to the Festival.
Festival San Miguel. The Military Band is heading to the Festival.


This is a video of the Military Band and The Horses heading to the festival through the streets of Ciudad Colonial.

The park where most of the activities happen is on Juan Isidro Perez and Jose Reyes in the San Miguel Sector of Ciudad Colonial.

Festival San Miguel- Parque San Miguel, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana at 7AM.
Festival San Miguel- Parque San Miguel, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana at 7AM.

Patron Saint Celebrations

Fiestas Patronales de la República Dominicana / Celebrations of the Patron Saints of Dominican Republic

Patronales/ Patron Saints. Every town and village in Dominican Republic has it’s own patron saint. Each town has a celebration for their saint. These celebrations usually cover an entire weekend or more with a party, music and just getting together of the inhabitants of the town in the local park or gathering area. It is a time of sharing with the neighbors and another excuse for having a party. Not that Dominicans need an excuse to have a party or a good time.

Here is a list of Patron Saints and different celebrations and what town celebrates that saint. The dates are a general reference and can change year to year depending on the dates the government sets. Try to visit a town during their celebrations. You will be so happy you did, even if you are not Catholic.

Festival San Miguel in Santo Domingo

Enero / Janurary

Festival El Santo Cristo de Bayaguana Offering of the Bulls

1. Santo Cristo de los Milagros of Bayaguana – ofrenda de los toros/ The Offering of the bulls (More information about this tradition go to our page on Town Traditions)

21. Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia o Virgen de la Altagracia. Celebrated in San José de Ocoa, Monte Plata, Villa Altagracia, Paraiso y los bajos de Haina. More information on Altagracia

Febrero / February

2 Virgen de la Candelaria patron saint of San Carlos, in Santo Domingo and Sabana Grande de Boyá.

11 Nuestra Señora de Lourdes patron saint of Peralta in Azua

16 San Elías Barón del Cementerio/ The Barron of the Cemetery.

Marzo / March

3 y 4 San Benito de Palermo celebrated in Guayabal, a providence of Azua

4 y 5 Procesión Romana-Higüey a procession to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higüey,starting at the Obelisco in La Romana

8 Miércoles de Ceniza/ Ash Wednesday

17 Damballah is symbolized by un arco iris/ Rainbow

19 San José this saint is celebrated in the towns of Restauración in Dajabón, Río Grande in Puerto Plata, Villa Vásquez in Prov. Montecristi, San José de las Matas in Prov. Dajabón, Yamasá in Prov. Monte Plata, El Valle in Sabana de la Mar. In Azua this patron saint is celebrated with carnival like festivities.

Abril / April

8 Amancia Pérez patron saint of Pueblo Arriba, Baní. This is the death of this saint who was the keeper of the San Juan Bautista en la Cofradía/ Saint John the Baptist in the Brotherhood

14 y 15 La Dolorita patron saint of Los Morenos, Villa Mella. She is a saint who bestows miracles and helps the people. It is celebrated by hundresd with salves, atabales, rezos y cantos/dance, prayers and song.(to learn more about salves, atables and afro dominican music)

Mayo / May

1 San José Obrero celebrated in Villa Jaragua in Prov. Bahoruco and Ensanche Ozama in Santo Domingo

3 San Felipe Apostol patron saint of Puerto Plata.

13 Nuestra Señora de Fátima celebrated in Villa Sinda in Prov. Montecristi, Galván in Prov. Bahoruco, Arenoso in Prov. Duarte and Hondo Valle in Prov. Samaná.

15 San Isidro el Labrador celebrated in Castillo in Prov. Duarte, Luperón in Puerto Plata, Las Caobas in Santiago Rodríguez, CLavelLina y Uvilla in Prov. Bahoruco, EL Llano in Elías Piña, Santé y La Enea in Prov. La Altagracia.

21 Espíritu Santo celebrated in Cotuí and many of the rural communities throughout Dominican Republic. (Here is a little information on this music)

18(?) Santa Rita de Casia celebrated in Juan Barón a Prov.of San Cristóbal, Sabana Perdida in Santo Domingo

30 San Fernando Rey patron saint of Montecristi.

Junio / June

11 San Bernabé patron saint of Villa Mella.

13 San Antonio de Padua patron saint of Bonao in Prov. Monseñor Nouel, Guerra in Prov. Monte Plata, La Victoria in Santo Domingo, Villa Rivas in Prov. Duarte, Monción in Prov. Santiago Rodríguez, Miches in Prov. El Seibo

22 Corazón de María patron saint of Chaquey Abajo in Cotuí

29 San Pedro y San Pablo patron saint of San Pedro de Macorís; Las Salinas in Prov. Barahona, El Cercado in Prov. San Juan de la Maguana, Fundación de Peravia in Prov.Peravia.

30 San Pablo Apóstol patron saint celebration in Villa González

Septiembre / September

7 Nuestra Señora de los Remedios patron saint of Azua, Cabral in Barahona, El Limón in Jimaní, Naranjo in San Juan de la Maguana

14 Exaltación de la Santísima Cruz patron saint of Mao in Valverde

24 Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes/Las Mercedes is patroness of the firefighters and the Patron Saint of the Dominican People. More information, picture and video of Mercedes and the celebration.

29 San Miguel Arcángel / St. Michael, the Archangel is the patron saint of the Dominican armed forces. He is the Captain of the Celestial Legions. Combating the devil he leads the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. Celebrated in the Santo Domingo town of San Miguel at the Iglesia San Miguel. History of the important Festival San Miguel.

Octubre / October

1 San Francisco patron saint of Bánica

4 Nuestra Señora del Rosario patron saint of Barahona

12 Nuestra Señora del Pilar patron saint of Sabana de la Mar and Cevicos.

14 Santa Rosa de Jesús patron saint of Elías Piña.

15 Santa Teresa de Avila patron saint of Comendador in Elías Piña

24 San Rafael patron saint of Boca Chica, Capotillo, Palma Herrada y los 21 in Moca, San Rafael del Yuma, Tamboril, Estancia Vieja in Santiago Rodríguez, Villa Tapia y Quita Sueño in Cotuí, Guayacanes in Valeverde

29 San Judas Tadeo patron saint of Escondido in Baní

Noviembre / November

1 Todos los Santos patron saint of Maguana in San Juan de la Maguana

21 Nuestra Señora de Regla patron saint of Baní

Diciembre / December

5 Santa Bárbara patron saint of Samaná

8 Inmaculada Concepción patron saint of Cotuí, Monte Grande in Dajabón, Estancia Nueva in Moca, Sombrero in Baní, Oviedo in Pedernales, Ramón Santana in San Pedro de Macorís

13 Santa Lucía patron saint of Las Matas de Farfán and El Peñón in Barahona

18 Virgen del Amparo patron saint of Polo in Barahona and Esperanza in Valverde

27 San Juan Evangelista patron saint of Salcedo

To see a map with all the Dominican Republic Provinces (Prov.) listed.

Casa del Tapao

Casa del Tapao / House of the Man’s Coat

Casa del Tapao is a large two story stone home that is beautifully restored and conserved. The residence was built in the 14th century between 1554 and 1556. Duque de Rivera, with help from the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, helped build this home. The shield of the Duque is located atop the stone portal of the main entrance.

Casa del Tapao.
Casa del Tapao.

Casa del Tapao Legends

Casa del Tapao is shrouded in legend and mystery. No one is sure exactly what went on behind the walls of this home.

It is said that the condemned prisoners arriving here from Mexico stayed in this house and always left covering their faces so they could not be identified.

One legend of the Casa del Tapao says that the gentleman living here was deformed and had a disfigured face, maybe from some disease such as leprosy. He only left the house at night and always had his face covered. Some legends state that this man was the twin brother of the King of Spain and he was hidden here so as not to disgrace the family.

The story says that the lone resident was a strange man who always kept his face covered so he could not be recognized. The people did not know much about this mysterious man so they called him “El Hombre del Tapado”

All these legends have one thing in common; someone stayed here who was secretive and stayed covered. None know for sure now why the inhabitants of this house always seemed to remain under cover. This is another mystery of the history of the Colony of Santo Domingo that will never be answered.

Casa del Tapao now is part of La Quinta Billini located a little further down Calle Padre Billini. The building is used for cultural events, art exhibitions and can be rented for special activities and parties.

Location

Casa del Tapao on the corner of 19 De Marzo and Padre Billini
Casa del Tapao on the corner of 19 De Marzo and Padre Billini

This beautifully preserved home is located on the corners of Calle 19 de Marzo and Padre Billini just 2 blocks form Calle el Conde. (The streets originally were named Calle del Tapao and Calle del Convento.)