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Nicaraguans celebrate the 'Gritería' | Dec 7, 2005

Further Reading

Thousands of Nicaraguans throughout the country celebrate today, December 7th, the traditional 'Gritería' festival, a religious celebration honoring and thanking the virgin Mary.

At 6PM the celebrations start with a shout exclaimed by the priests from cathedrals and churches throughout Nicaragua, shouting: '¿Quién causa tanta alegría?' ('who causes so much happiness?'), which will be answered by the crowd with '¡La concepción de María' ('the conception of Mary!').

During the 'Gritería', the people go out to the streets to sing traditional songs in front of altars set up in thousands of homes by families who like to thank Mary. In some populous neighborhoods you can find up to ten altars in a single block of houses.

The people go singing from altar to altar, and at every altar they will receive a variety of presents from the house owners, including traditional candies, fruit, sugar cane, small plastic items, and other items.

This old tradition is also starting to be celebrated in countries that house large Nicaraguan communities. You can read more about these and other December celebrations in our December Special.