Honduras Festivals

Most towns in Honduras have an annual festival celebrating a patron saint. In Honduras festivals are large events, with parades, public performances, religious ceremonies, and large parties. Traditional holidays in Honduras provide great glimpses into the local culture and people.

The largest of all Honduras festivals is the La Ceiba carnival. Known as la Feria de San Isidro, the national carnival is the wildest of all Honduran holidays - Honduras' version of New Orleans' Mardi Gras or Pamplona's San Fermin. About a quarter of a million people from all over Honduras and elsewhere in Central America flock to La Ceiba the week before the third Saturday in May, tripling the town's population. Needless to say, hotels and hostels fill up quickly. It's best to book well in advance if you want to come to be a part of the fun. The carnaval culminates on the Saturday with a parade down San Isidro Avenue, but the town is in wild celebration for days before.

One of the biggest traditional holidays in Honduras is the Feria Juniana, held the last week of June in San Pedro Sula. There is lots of live music, performances, eating, and drinking. A parade down Avenida Circunvalacion on June 29 marks the festival's climax.

Semana Santa, the week before Easter, is marked by Honduran holidays. Few Hondurans work on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before Easter Sunday, and there are Honduras festivals across the nation to mark the holy week.

The beach town of Tela has a large festival during Semana Santa, but best place in the country to celebrate this, the most national of all traditional holidays in Honduras, is probably Santa Rosa de Copan. This mountain town, not far from San Pedro Sula and the Mayan site of Copan, has six separate parades reenacting biblical events from the Easter story. The culmination is a parade over a bed of flowers with religious and town leaders accompanying a “Jesus” and his cross to the main cathedral.

The Garifuna people, descendents of Caribbean exiles who settled large areas of coastal Honduras and the Bay Islands, celebrate their arrival in Roatan in 1797 with Honduran holidays each year on April 12. Punta Gorda, on Roatan Island, has one of the best celebrations.

Another Garifuna festival, at Baja Mar near Puerto Cortes, on July 9 thru 24, is also worth seeing. Garifuna people from surrounding communities gather at Baja Mar, making this a great place to witness traditional Honduran culture.

Other traditional holidays in Honduras include the Feria de la Virgin de Suyapa, held in Suyapa, just outside Tegucigalpa on February 3; the Day of the Americas on April 14; national Independence Day on September 15; and Dia de la Raza (Columbus Day) on October 12. Sun Jam, a newer Honduras festival, takes place on Utila Island in August. This all-day and all-night dance party attracts partiers from around the world.

Honduran holidays are a great time for a Honduras vacation, but remember to make arrangements for accommodations well in advance.

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