August Festivities in San Salvador. Patron Saint Festivities of San Salvador

August Festivities in San Salvador
Downtown San Salvador. Image by Victor Santana

The August Festivities in San Salvador are from August 1st to the 6th in the nation’s capital. These festivities honor Jesus Christ, the Divine Savior of the World, 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 enjoy the numerous parades, floats, games, live music events, and religious activities.

Also, the San Salvador city hall sets up a fairground with plenty of games, food, and activities for families to enjoy. The 2022 fairgrounds are on the outskirts of the Cuscatlán Stadium.

Even though the August festivities take place in the capital city, the celebration seems to be a national holiday.

August 5th and 6th 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; many people refer to this time as the August vacation.

The August Festivities main events.

The San Salvador August festivities activities cater to all Salvadorans; there are plenty of religious events and other activities for families to experience and enjoy. 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 or “Desfile del Correo” is the first event of this holiday celebration. It takes place on August 1st around 9 AM. It is a parade that takes place on 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 different sectors.

San Salvador Correo Parade
2022 Correos parade in San Salvador.

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

The Commerce parade or “Desfile del Comercio” is similar to the Correo parade; it takes place at around 9 AM. Hundreds 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 El Salvador August festival’s main religious events take place on August 5th. It starts at 4 pm 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 pm, the descent or 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, the image of the divine savior of the world in red clothing descends inside a globe. It then emerges, covered in white garments signifying the transfiguration.

There are other events besides the main official ones; for example, there is the election of the Queen of the festivities and all the smaller events at the fairgrounds. Fairground events include fantasy Parades, musical performances, and fireworks.

The full schedule of activities, religious and non-religious, is made public at some point in July. Visit the San Salvador city hall website to get more information.

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

San Salvador August Celebrations
School cheerleaders. Image by @alcaldia_ss

Origen of the August Festivities in San Salvador

The San Salvador August festivities date back to colonial times, 1528. 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.

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., inaugurate the celebrations. From the Savior of the world plaza, they welcome the residents and visitors to the upcoming events.

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 parade or Desfile de Correos is called that way because originally, a postman presided over the parade. The postman carried a message to the city mayor.

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
San Salvador 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 Fairgrounds
2022 Fairgrounds in San Salvador.

The August Festivities in San Salvador

In El Salvador, the August festivities are the ones many people look forward to; some for the religious aspect, and others for the vacation.

For Salvadorans, 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.