El Salvador August Festival. San Salvador’s Patron Saint Festivities

El Salvador August festival
El Salvador August festival.

The El Salvador August Festival is a national holiday; it takes place from August 1st to the 6th in San Salvador. The August festivities honor Jesus Christ, the Divine Savior of the World, patron saint of the nation’s capital; the celebrations include religious events and family activities.

From August 1st to the 6th, people in the nation’s capital get to enjoy parades, floats, music events, and religious activities.

Also, during this week, the San Salvador city hall sets up a large amusement area of fairgrounds with plenty of games, food, and activities for families to enjoy.

The August festival in El Salvador is a holiday observed by the entire country from the 1st to the 6th. Even though the main festivities and activities take place in San Salvador, the nation’s capital, public schools, universities, and government offices all over the country are closed during this time.

The following are the main events that take place during this holiday. However, due to the Coronavirus El Salvador pandemic, this calendar of events can change or get canceled.

Date Event
August 1st. Correo Parade.
August 2nd. TBD “2022”
August 3rd. Commerce Parade.
August 4th. TBD “2022”
August 5th. Day of the descent “La Bajada” and procession.
August 6th. Solemn Eucharist celebration.

There are other events besides the main daily 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.

August Festival in El Salvador
August Festival in El Salvador.

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, and candidates for city queens from different sectors.

San Salvador  Correos Parade
San Salvador Correo Parade. Photo by @emuyshondt

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

The Comerce parade or “Desfile del Comercio” is simmilar the the Correo parade; it takes place on around 9 AM.

Hundreds attend this event and enjoy the colorfully decorated floats, peace bands, and everything else offered during this day.

This event is promoted by the San Salvador city hall 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.

August 6th. Solemn Eucharist Celebration

On August 6th, a Solemn Eucharist is celebrated in the atrium of the Metropolitan Cathedral; it marks the culmination of the patron saint festivities.

El Salvador August Festival
Parade participants.

Things to Know About the August Festival in El Salvador

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

The Festivities Origin

The origin of the August Festivities dates back to 1528, colonial time. 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 Saviour 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 of the Cuscatlam Stadium; it is a popular area to visit, especially at night.

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.

San Salvador August celebrations
San Salvador August celebrations

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.

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.

El Salvador August Festival

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 Salvadoran’s, the August festivities are there to have fun with the 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.