La Purisima Nicaraguan Holiday

La Purisima or the immaculate conception of Mary is the Nicaraguan holiday that is celebrated every year on December 8th.  The Catholic holiday celebrates the role of Mary in the birth of Jesus.  In many Nicaraguan homes there are statues or paintings of Mary.  On the day of the Purisima the mood is very festive and there are loud fire crackers that go off throughout the day and well into the evening. 

Nicaraguan Catholica Holiday La PurisimaThe Catholic Church holds events at church and in many places the church goers will parade through neighborhoods going from house to house.  During the procession they will have a young girl on donkey and young guy walking next to her and they signify Mary and Joseph from the story.  Together with many other people they go to different homes in the neighborhood.  People open their homes to the crowds that come and sing a few carols (or “yelling” as it is referred to) before moving to the next home.  It is customary to hand out candy or treats for kids at each home.  Some homes may have food to eat for those that come by.  Usually the singing is done outside on a patio or by the entrance before moving on to the next house.  It is a  great time for the Nicaraguan people to put their worries aside for a fantastic evening in community.

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