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VZ Festivals
VZ Festivals

Devil Dancers
Key Dates
Public Holidays
VZ and USA
Beauty Queens
Margarita Island
Travel Tools
Flag of Guyana Guyana
Caribbean Carnivals [w/frameset]
VZ Carnaval
carnaval by mipunto.com [translated]
carnaval by comunidad
VZ on the Web
go to think-venezuela.net, the tourism directory
wikipedia: Politics of Venezuela
Both Puerto La Cruz and Porlamar are veritable United Nations of cruising sailboats. Flags from all over the world fly on boats in these two harbors as they stop off for provisions and adventures.

Simón de Bolívar:
Message to the Congress of Angostura, 1819

"We are not Europeans; we are not Indians; we are but a mixed species of aborigines and Spaniards. Americans by birth and Europeans by law, we find ourselves engaged in a dual conflict: we are disputing with the natives for titles of ownership, and at the same time we are struggling to maintain ourselves in the country that gave us birth against the opposition of the invaders. Thus our position is most extraordinary and complicated. But there is more. As our role has always been strictly passive and political existence nil, we find that our quest for liberty is now even more difficult of accomplishment; for we, having been placed in a state lower than slavery, had been robbed not only of our freedom but also of the right to exercise an active domestic tyranny. . .We have been ruled more by deceit than by force, and we have been degraded more by vice than by superstition. Slavery is the daughter of darkness: an ignorant people is a blind instrument of its own destruction." [more]


Venezuela & the USA
"Optimism and joy mark the character of our two countries."
"We both believe in a brighter future for our children. We both like to party, from Carnival to Halloween, and we are prepared to borrow each other’s celebrations if it means having a good time. We believe everything is possible, even that the Aguilas del Zulia win the Caribbean Series or that the Baltimore Orioles go to the World Series.
Venezuela and the United States, two countries with common values
By USA Ambassador to Venezuela William R. Brownfield

Published on July 4, 2006 by El Universal. [more]

Local Events and Festivals
Many of beaches offer diversions and strolls, but in high season, and especially during Easter, Carnival and August vacation, there are musical showcases with national and international artists that offer true spectacle.

Venezuela holidays, like most in Latin America, follow a calendar marked by the Catholic holidays and the cycles of the sun.


Paradura del Niño (Mérida, 1st – 2nd)
January 6, the day of Epiphany, the last of the twelve days of Christmas. The three kings ("Los Tres Reyes Magos"), receive wish letters from children and magically bring them gifts on the night before Epiphany.

La Paradura del Niño (The Parade of Baby Jesus) - Andes states of Táchira, Mérida, and Trujillo, 6 January.

Feria Internacional de San Sebastián (San Cristóbal, 7th – 30th

La Divina Pastora (Barquisimeto)

Fiesta de la Voz de Oro (Barquisimeto)

Santa Inés (Cumana, 22nd)

Feria del Sol (Mérida)
February 2, Virgin of La Candelaria day - popular day of faith, dances and cultural activities, disguises, masks and bands.

Danceros de la Candelaria (Mérida)

Pre-Lenten Carnival (Carúpano) Carnival (Mardi Gras) reaches its finale on Tuesday. With the preceding Monday being granted a holiday, most Venezuelans enjoy a 4 day weekend and choose to vacate the city and head for the beach for this extra long weekend.

The Burial of the Sardine - Carnaval, in most of the Spanish speaking cultures has a ritual beginning and end. The burial of the sardine (usually a symbolic doll) on Ash Wednesday marks the end of Carnival.

Los Tambores de Barlovento (The Drums of Barlovento) - Barlovento, Miranda state at the beginning of the rainy season.

San José (Paraguachí, Margarita and Maracay, 16th - 26th

Fiesta del Joropo (Elorza, Apure State, 19th)

As a predominately Catholic country, Venezuela observes Holy Week (between Palm Sunday and Easter). Many Venezuelans spend this week away at beaches and other popular destinations.
Diablo Danzante in San Francisco de Yare on Corpus Christi's Holy thursday

Velorio de la Cruz de Mayo -  The cross of May. (Caracas and Carúpano, & many provincial towns, 3rd)

San Antonio del Táchira (San Antonio del Táchira, 13th - 20th)

San Isidro (Maracaibo and Mérida, 15th)

Los Diablos Danzantes (San Francisco de Yare)

June Fiesta de San Juan (Curiepe, Miranda State, 23rd)

Fiestas de La Virgen (La Asunción, Margarita)

San Antonio (St. Anthony of Padua) is celebrated on or around June 13
Corpus Christi
Los Diablos de Yare - the main cities of the Federal District, Aragua state, Miranda state, and Cojedes state
San Juan Bautista  patron saint to many people on the central Caribbean coast, who celebrate the Saint’s feast day from June 23 to June 25.
Feast of John the Baptist (June 24).
In Venezuela, the celebrations in honor of Saint John the Baptist have singular importance from the colonial time to the present, mainly in those Afro-Venezuelan populations. The pueblos around Caracas go wild to the beat of an African drum with exuberant dancing,  The feast runs through June and includes erotic rites, purification rituals and divination.

Parranda de San Pedro takes place on June 29 in the town of Guatire.

Batalla de Matasiete (La Asunción, Margarita, 31st)

August Fiesta del Orinoco (Cuidad Bolívar)

Feria de las Flores (Caripe, 2nd – 12th)

Asunción de la Virgen (Carúpano 15th and La Asunción, Margarita, 14th - 15th)

Virgin of El Carmen day (July 16). Masses, processions, and celebrations in the Vargas state just east of Caracus

Fiesta de La Virgen de Coromoto (Guanare, 8th)

Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Valle (Margarita, 8th –15th)

Virgen del Rosario (Maracaibo, 5th)

Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Caripe, 10th –12th)

El Hatillo Music Festival (15km southeast of Caracas)  Popular performers gather in the town’s central square, Plaza Bolívar and other venues, and perform folk, jazz and rock music (Oct/Nov)Complejo Cultural Teresa Carreño (+1 582 574 9112).

Santos y Fideles Difuntos (Cumana, 2nd)

Feria de Valencia (Valencia, 15th – 22nd)

Feria de la Chinita (Maracaibo, 18th)

Fair of the Chinese (November) in Maracaibo

Many businesses and commercial establishments close from the December 24 to January 1, inclusive.
December 28 Feast of the Holy Innocents. The Catholic church commemorates the 8th day of the birth of Jesus, with the death of the Holy Innocents, in honor of the children assassinated by order of the King Herod.

December 28 is also a day for pranks, equivalent to April Fool's Day in many countries. Prank victims are called inocentes.

San Benito el Moro The feast of San Benito (St. Benedict the Moor) is celebrated during Christmas week and New Year’s Day. San Benito is the patron saint for the people around Lake Maracaibo. The music for his feast, at year’s end, is performed by ensembles of chimbagueles. The Saint appears as a black man, but with a Creole mixture of characteristics. He is also associated with drinking rum, and with appreciating beautiful women

Fiesta de la Zaragoza (Barquisimeto, 28th)

Date Local Name English Name Remarks
January 1 Día de Año Nuevo New Year's Day Beginning of the Civil Year
January 6 Día de Reyes Epiphany Christian feast, the visit of the three Magi to Jesus.
Día del Maestro Teacher's Day -
Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednes
Carnaval Carnival -
From Palm Sunday to Easter Semana Santa Holy Week Commemoration of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.
March 19 Día de San José Saint Joseph's Day In honor of Saint Joseph
April 19 19 de abril Beginning of the Independence Movement Remembering the 1810 coup and start of the Venezuelan Independence
May 1 Día del Trabajador Labour Day -
June 24 Batalla de Carabobo Battle of Carabobo Ensurance of the Venezuelan Independence; tagged also as Army's Day
July 5 5 de julio Independence Day Signing of the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence
July 24 Natalicio del Libertador Birth of Simón Bolívar Also tagged as Navy's Day.
August 3 Día de la Bandera Flag Day Previously, in Venezuela the Flag Day was celebrated in March 12, until August 3, 2006, in honor of the disembarkation of Francisco de Miranda in La Vela de Coro, 1806.
Día de la Resistencia Indígena Day of Indigenous Resistance Previously, in Venezuela the holiday was called Día de la Raza, conmemorating the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.
Nov 1 Día de Todos los Santos All Saints Day -
Nov 17 to Nov 19 Feria de la Chinita Feria of La Chinita Only in the Zulian region; celebrating the miracle of Our Lady of Rosario of Chiquinquirá.
Dec 8 Inmaculada Concepción Immaculate Conception Celebrating the preservance of Mary, the mother of Jesus from the original sin by the Grace of God.
Dec 24 Nochebuena Christmas Eve Birth of Jesus (Divino Niño).
Dec 31 Nochevieja New Year's Eve Final day of the Civil Year
Devil Dancers
Los Diablos Danzantes at whatsonwhen.com
Devils dance to celebrate Corpus Christi, the Catholic celebration of the transformation of Christ's body.
by LeslieMazoch.com
Public Holidays
January 1 - New Year's Day
Carnival Monday & Tuesday just before Ash Wednesday
Before Easter Sunday - Maundy Thursday & Good Friday
April 19 - Declaration of Independence
May 1 - Labor Day
June 24 - Battle of Carabobo
July 5 - Independence Day
July 24 - Bolívar's Birthday
October 12 - Discovery of America
December 25 - Christmas

Given the strong Roman Catholic character of Venezuela, most other national celebrations are tied to the Christian calendar. Apart from Easter, Christmas and Corpus Christi, which are celebrated enthusiastically, there are many saints' days spread over the calendar year. African music in Venezuela today occur as parts of religious ceremonies, but you will not find the syncretic African dieties being invoked through their Catholic saint form like elsewhere in the Americas. In Venezuela, the ceremonies are very much Catholic in inspiration and origin, and involve celebrating feast days of the saints as well as the major holidays of Christmas and Easter (Semana Santa)

The evolution of  contemporary  Venezuelan  culture derives from an early mix of prehispanic, Hispanic and African roots, consolidated centuries ago during the colonial times.

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end"

"If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home"

"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries"

"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfilment"


Last Update: NOV2006 || Main Page: Carnaval.com