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Traditional Dance “Torovenado” and Saint Celebrations in Catarina | Dec 21, 2006

Every year the people from Catarina celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one in an atmosphere full of culture and traditions commemorating the Saint San Silvestre Pope, protector of this colourful and attractive municipal district in the county of Masaya.

During the second Saint Celebrations of the people of Catarina, the visitor can appreciate the traditional dance "Torovendo", a cultural expression reminding the times of the Spanish conquerors. This popular tradition is conserved with a special devotion used to ridicule or scorn of certain elements of the local, national and international society.

The use of the handicraft mask to present scenes of the daily life or history of Catarina is one of the elements which make this village different.

If you are interested in enjoying this tradition we recommend you the following dates:

Saturday, 30th of December:
At this day the celebrations start in a sportive setting: Dozens of different athletes (professionals and beginners) from all over Nicaragua are participating since 29 years in a marathon called “Maratón San Silvestre” running through the streets of Catarina.

This year the marathon will be settled in an atmosphere of a lot of movement and philharmonic music (presented by traditional musicians called “chicheros”). At the time the altar “enramada” will be decorated with fruits and flowers, where the believers pray to the Saint and the mayor-domo will distribute chicha (corn drink), nacatamales (typical dish), rosquillas (snacks) and liquor.

After the mass at 7:00 pm, a setting of fire works and music, the believers and the “Torovenado” walk through the streets of Catarina dancing in honour of their Saint.

Sunday, 31st of December:
The main disguised actors are children initiating the tradition, supervised by their parents accompanying the procession which starts at the church at 2:00 pm.

Monday 1st of January:
This is the best day to appreciate the traditional “Torovendo”: the procession starts at 1:00 pm and finishes when the Saint steps into the church at 7:00 pm.

Text and picture: Álvaro Gutiérrez Gallegos.