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Agüizotes and Torovenado festivities in Masaya | Oct 22, 2006

Further Reading

This weekend the town of Masaya will host the annual and picturesque processions of Los Agüizotes on Friday night (October 27) and Gran Torovenado del Pueblo on Sunday afternoon (October 29). Both events will start at the Magdalena Plaza at the indigenous Monimbó district and continue down the main roads of the city.

The Los Agüizotes processions take place every last Friday of October and they involve a multitude of participants disguised with grotesque masks and lengthy costumes, related to the legends and myths that are part of the Nicaraguan culture.

This procession will walk and dance from 8 PM until midnight, accompanied by traditional music played by philharmonic bands also known as “chicheros”.

This year the organizers are expecting around 4000 participants. They hope that this year the influence of the foreign Halloween festivities – seen in the usage of non-traditional masks – will be limited.

Two days later, on the last Sunday of October, the ‘Gran Torovenado del Pueblo’ will take place, again involving a large number of participants and spectators who will enjoy a form of street theater used to creatively mock national, powerful individuals (the politicians are often a beloved target) and current controversial situations. Performers use masks made of paper or jícaro.

This traditional procession will start around noon on Sunday at the Magdalena Plaza, and it will also pass by the main streets of the city. Its origin, according to the organizers, is found in the dances and celebrations of indigenous tribes.

The name of this tradition, according to the most widely accepted theory, comes from the cultural syncretism that occurred at this area: the ‘toro’ (bull) in the name comes from the strength, arrogance, and haughtiness of the Spanish, and the ‘venado’ (deer) represents the agility and worry for liberty of the indigenous people.

Both of the aforementioned events are true cultural spectacles, dignifying representatives of the Nicaraguan and Masayan folklore. People interested in one of these events can head towards any of the principal streets in Masaya during at the indicated time.