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El Salvador Travel Guide

El Salvador — Festivals and Events

Most festivals in El Salvador are religious in nature and take place in the summer, which is during wet season, though it rarely rains all the time. Easter is held in high esteem and main cities make a big deal out of honoring their patron saint. San Salvador has the biggest events, including the August Festival and Independence Day.

Holy Week

This important religious festival in El Salvador is known as Semana Santa in the Spanish-speaking world and features a carnival-like atmosphere across Latin America. Best experienced in San Salvador with street parades and performance art, the week-long event is usually held in late March through Easter Sunday.

Palm Festival

The Panchimalco Flower and Palm Festival in May is a good time to take in local culture. Admire beautiful floral arrangements and garlands displayed throughout the towns, villages and beach resorts nationwide. Accompanying the event is music and traditional dress.

July Festival

The best time to be in Santa Ana—though perhaps not if you want peace and quiet—is Fiesta Julias which runs through the month of July. There are street parades, masses and cultural events galore in this most colonial of Salvadoran cities. There are also fairground rides and clowns for the kids.

August Festival

Fiestas Agostinas in early August is one of the most popular festivals in El Salvador. Held in the capital of San Salvador, a marching band wakes the city up at 4:00 a.m., after which parades, sports, food, and art exhibitions take place.

Balls of Fire Festival

This fun, fiery event in late August is held in Nejapa—just north of San Salvador—and sees fire-throwers with elaborately painted faces on the streets and a general appearance of anarchy. 

Independence Day

September 15 marks El Salvador's independence from Spain in 1821 with flag-waving, parades and fireworks on the beaches, in the cities and mountain towns. The biggest national day celebrations take place in San Salvador.

San Miguel Carnival

November in San Miguel is party time, with beautiful dancing girls and parades to honor the San Miguel patron saint. Bands from the region play reggae, samba and funky, local merengue on the streets.

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