Cultural Extravaganza: Celebrating the August Festivities in San Salvador

The August Festivities are in honor of the Divine Savior of the World

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on Aug 1st, 2023
August Festivities in San SalvadorAugust celebrations in San Salvador.

Once again, the August Festivities in San Salvador are here, and the nation’s capital is ready to display its cultural extravaganza. During these festivities, the vibrant capital comes alive with a colorful array of cultural events and joyous religious traditions.

The August Festivities in San Salvador are from August 1 to 6 and honor Jesus Christ, the Divine Savior of the World and patron saint of the capital city, San Salvador; the celebrations include religious events and family activities.

During this time, people in the nation’s capital can enjoy numerous parades, floats, games, live music events, and religious activities.

Also, during the festivities, the San Salvador city hall sets up a fairground with plenty of games, food, and activities for families to enjoy. The fairgrounds are on the outskirts of the Cuscatlan Stadium.

Even though the August festivities only happen in the capital city, the celebration seems to be a national holiday. For example, August 5 and 6 are national holidays; therefore, public schools, universities, and government offices all over the country are closed. Sometimes, they might even close for the entire week.

Also, the first week in August is used by many Salvadorans to take time off, and refer to this time as the August vacation. Furthermore, Salvadorans living abroad use this time to come back to the country and see family and friends.

SEE ALSO: Exploring El Salvador Culture: Embracing Vibrant Customs and Traditions with Warm-hearted People

The August Festivities main events.

A great thing about the San Salvador August festivities activities is that activities are for everyone; there are plenty of religious events and other activities for families to experience and enjoy.

Some of the principal activities are the Correo and commerce parade and the day of the descent, to name a few.

August 1st. The Correo Parade. “Desfile del Correo”

The Correo parade (Desfile del Correo) is the first event of this holiday celebration. It takes place on August 1 at around 9 a.m.; the parade route takes you along the main streets of the capital city.

It includes bands, colorfully decorated floats, traditional Salvadoran characters, marching bands, school cheerleaders, and candidates for city queens from the different city districts.

San Salvador Correo Parade
The 2023 Correos parade in San Salvador. Photo by SS City Hall

SEE ALSO: El Salvador Holidays and Celebrations: Exploring El Salvador’s Colorful Festivities!

August 3rd. The Commerce Parade. “Desfile del Comercio”

The Commerce parade (Desfile del Comercio) is similar to the Correo parade; it takes place at around 9 a.m.

Hundreds of locals and tourists attend this event and enjoy the colorfully decorated floats, peace bands, and everything else offered during this day. The San Salvador city hall organizes the event with the financial support of different merchants of the nation’s capital.

August 5th. Day of the Descent “La Bajada”

The festivity’s main religious event takes place on August 5. It starts at 4 p.m. with a procession carrying a statue of the divine savior of the world from the Sacred Heart Basilica that ends at the San Salvador National Cathedral.

At the National Cathedral, at around 8 p.m., the descent (La Bajada) event takes place. This event is also called the Transfiguration of Jesus or La Transfiguración de Jesús. It seeks to strengthen the Catholic faith in the country.

On a high platform and inside a globe, the image of the divine savior of the world appears in red clothing and then descends back inside a sphere. It then emerges, covered in white garments signifying the transfiguration.

The festivities have plenty of events; for example, the election of the Queen of the festivities and all the smaller events at the fairgrounds, such as fantasy Parades, musical performances, and fireworks.

The full schedule of religious and non-religious activities for the festivities is made public by the city hall in July. Visit the San Salvador city hall website to get more information.

The following are a few important details about aspects of these celebrations. It gives an inside into the historical and cultural aspects of this holiday.

Origen of the August Festivities in San Salvador

The San Salvador August festivities date back to the 1500s, colonial times. Throughout history, there have been many modifications made to these celebrations. It has changed from civic, religious, or military events to what we have today.

San Salvador August Celebrations
The 2023 Correos parade. Photo by alcaldia_ss

The July 31st Welcome Event

On the eve of the festivities, July 31st, the Mayor of San Salvador, accompanied by the Queen of the Patron Saint Festivities, welcome the residents and visitors to the upcoming August festivities; this inauguration of the celebrations is done at the savior of the world plaza.

The Fairgrounds

The fairgrounds and all their games, music, and food are located outside the Cuscatlam Stadium; it is a popular area to visit, especially at night. Here you will find plenty of fun activities along with some of the best traditional Salvadoran foods and drinks.

Fairgrounds San Salvador
Colorful fairgrounds during the August celebrations.

El Colocho or the Curly One

The image of the Divine Savior of the World used during the celebrations is popularly known as El Colocho. It translates to the curly one; it was sculpted in 1777.

The Mail Parade or El Desfile de Correos

The Mail Post parade (Desfile de Correos) is one of the principal attractions of the festivities. Originally, a postman presided over the parade; therefore, it gets called that way. The postman carried a message to the city mayor for the festivities to start.

The August Vacations

Even though the festivities and religious activities only occur at the nation’s capital, this is a holiday that the entire country looks forward to and celebrates.

San Salvador August celebrations
August celebrations

The celebrations in San Salvador coincide with the August vacations for the entire country. During these vacations, schools, universities, and governmental offices are closed. Families used this time to go on vacation either locally or internationally.

Also, during the August vacations, a large number of Salvadorans living abroad return to the country.

San Salvador Festivities Fairgrounds
2023 San Salvador Festivities Fairgrounds. Photo by alcaldia_ss

The August Festivities in San Salvador

Salvadorans in the country and those living abroad look forward to the August festivities; some do it for the religious aspect, and others for the vacation.

For many people, the August festivities are there to have fun with their family and friends. Nevertheless, it is essential not to lose sight of the true meaning of the patron saint celebrations, which is to renew faith in religion and community.

If you ever get a chance, visit San Salvador during the August festivities; These are some of the best celebrations in the country. I am sure you will have a good time on this holiday.