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El Salvador Events

Carnival de San Miguel

One of Central America's biggest events takes place in the eastern city of San Miguel. It's a whole month of festivities, both secular and religious (honouring the city's patron saint). The focus is on street partying with close to one million revellers, floats and costumed dancers thronging the streets on the last Saturday of the month. The music ranges from meringue, salsa and samba to reggae and the high-tempo reggaeton popular throughout the region.

Date: 2012-11-01
Venue: San Miguel.

Festival de El Salvador

The beginning of August sees a week of celebrations nationwide, but centred on the capital. Though a religious festival commemorating Divino Salvador del Mundo (the Divine Saviour of the World i.e. Jesus) from whom the city and country take their names, there is plenty to see and do for everyone. Also known as Fiestas Agostinas, it coincides with the main holiday week for Salvadorans. There are pop-up food fairs, street processions packed with brightly-costumed participants and the usual complement of masses and religious ceremonies.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2013-08-01
Venue: Nationwide.

Festival Permanente de Arte y Cultura de Suchitoto

Over the years, the pretty colonial hillside town of Suchitoto has become a haven for students and artsy types. Each year, it hosts this international festival of cultural events, music, theatre, film and arts. It attracts artists from around the world, with events throughout the month of February, and is close enough to San Salvador for a daytrip or weekend.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2017-02-01
Venue: Suchitoto

Fiesta de San José

Most festivals in El Salvador are something to with a patron saint. Many are along the same lines with processions, costumes and masses, but in Agua Caliente in northern El Salvador events are enlivened by a raucous rodeo, with locals competing to stay mounted on bulls for as long as possible.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2017-03-17
Venue: Agua Caliente

Semana Santa

With a population that is three quarters Roman Catholic, El Salvador takes 'Holy Week' seriously. There are solemn masses, village-wide feasts featuring local specialities, and days of flower-filled parades and masses culminating in the Easter Sunday service.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2017-03-24
Venue: Nationwide.

Fiesta de las Flores y Palmas

In this village close to San Salvador, the annual Flower & Palm Festival sees locals take to the streets laden with palms threaded with tropical flowers. Its origins date back to the pre-colonial Maya celebration of the rainy season's arrival. The locals' imaginative costumes add to the air of celebration.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2017-05-05
Venue: Panchimalco

Copa Quiksilver

Every year, top international surfers compete for the Quiksilver Cup in El Salvador's premier surf location. Big names expected to attend include Manuel Selman, Leandro Usuna and Lucas Santamaria, and recent winner Hank Gaskell.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2017-07-01
Venue: Punta Roca, La Libertad

Fiestas Julias

Community events, street parades and masses together with a packed cultural calendar of live music, theatre and parties make July a good time to visit El Salvador's second city. It's all in honour of Anne, the city's patron saint.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2017-07-15
Venue: Santa Ana.

Las Bolas de Fuego

A traditional annual celebration, "The Balls of Fire" may have originated in 1658 when the volcano El Paypon erupted and forced villagers to flee from Nixapa to Nejapa. Whatever the origin, it's now gaining a reputation to match Pamplona's bull running with thrill-seekers throwing lit petrol-soaked rags at each other. It draws big crowds most of whom want only to spectate and enjoy the parties that surround the event, but there is always an element of danger.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2017-08-31
Venue: Nejapa.

All Saints Day and All Souls Day

Colourful street parades, feasts and celebrations take place in towns, villages and cities across the country to celebrate these traditional Christian feast days.

Date (which is to be confirmed): 2017-11-01
Venue: Nationwide.