In Nicaragua we find various customs, some spread throughout the country and others typical of, for example, the people of Granada or the Leonese. In this article, we will tell you about the most important traditions and we will indicate which departments and regions they are most representative of.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Article Index

The customs and traditions of Nicaragua


In Nicaraguan families, traditionally it is the man who makes the important decisions and instills in the children the behavior they should have. Many family members tend to live together, such as grandparents and uncles, due in part to the lack of housing.

Likewise, Nicaraguan families are quite large and they usually have an average of five or six children. However, there is a high percentage of families without father.

In this case, it is the mother who bears the economic responsibility, that of the house and that of the care of the children, so a kind of matriarchy is established.


Throughout the territory of Nicaragua we find outstanding festivities, especially religious ones, linked to Christianity. For example, throughout the country, the Purísima is celebrated on December 7 and 8 in honor of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

En Managua The Patron Saint Festivities in honor of Santo Domingo are notably important. These are celebrated between 1 and 10 August since the 1885th century. According to tradition, in XNUMX a small image of Santo Domingo de Guzmán appeared inside a tree.

A party that can be strange for visitors is the one held in Masaya to honor San Lázaro. In it, dogs are disguised in colorful costumes and go in procession to give thanks for a request that has been fulfilled or ask for a favor. In this video you can learn more about this curious appointment:

Also, another party that is celebrated throughout the country is Carnival, which is organized before Lent and after Easter. Parades are held in large cities, attended by thousands of people.

Christmas is one of the most important dates for Nicaraguans. In Estelí, Jinitepe and Diriamba the Pastorelas take place, in which the children dress up as Maria, José and the shepherds and go through the streets. The first time it was made in the country was in León in 1888.

In Estelí, the nine days prior to December 24 are organized the inns, in which the search for a place for Jesus to be born is commemorated. After mass, people go in procession singing Christmas carols to the house that welcomes the people that day.

On December 24, in Christmas Eve, dine as a family. The children have written a letter to the Christ Child to ask for gifts and have placed it behind the births. December 25th is when the gifts appear.

On the other hand, on New Year's Eve different customs are carried out, such as burning a doll in the street that symbolizes the year that is going to end. People often put coins and bills inside their shoes to attract money in the new year.


During the wedding vows, at Nicaraguan weddings it is customary to put a rosary called loop between the necks of the couple to reflect the union of both. This is removed once the ceremony is over.

In the indigenous people of the chorotegas, an ancient tradition was to celebrate the wedding for three days. After this, the bride stayed at home for three months.

On the other hand, in the Pacific, the Monimbó ethnic group, in Masaya, used to watch over and bless the woman's dress the night before the wedding, when the mother had to mourn the departure of her daughter.


One of the highlights of Nicaraguan culture is its dances. In each department we find a characteristic one. For example, the Güegüense It is danced in Carazo and Masaya, where a comedy is performed in which the participants are disguised.

If you want to know the rest of the important dances of this country, we recommend that you visit this article: The typical dances of Nicaragua.

In relation to this, in 1969 the Nicaraguan Folk Ballet was established, a dance company that aims to recover all these dances and that represents a show in which a large number of dancers participate.

Culinary customs

Nicaragua has a rich and varied gastronomy. Its most representative dish is the gallo pinto, which consists of a mixture of rice and beans. It has its origin in the African slaves who inhabited the country in the past.

The food varies depending on the area in which we are. While meat, fruits and vegetables abound on the southern Pacific coast, coconut and seafood abound on the northern Caribbean coast.

A traditional dish from Granada is vigorous, a kind of salad whose main ingredients are cabbage, onion, tomato, hot pepper, vinegar and salt.

Sports habits

The most important sport for Nicaraguans is the baseball. It has thousands of followers across the country. The Nicaraguan Federation of Amateur Baseball (FENIBA) is in charge of organizing the most important competition in the country.

However, it is not the only sport that the people of Nicaragua are interested in, as boxing is also quite important for them. Also, soccer is gaining popularity lately.

Likewise, the beaches of Popoyo, Rivas, are an important destination for surfers, so the inhabitants of this area like to practice this water sport.

Indigenous people

In Nicaragua we still find diverse indigenous peoples who have their own traditions. In the south of Río Grande, in Matagalpa, we found the Miskitos. These have been found here since the XNUMXth century and are believed to be a mix between some tribes, Africans and Europeans.

Furthermore, the garifunas are More than 600.000, since they extend between Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and the United States. These have their own style of music called tip. They also organize characteristic dance competitions: the chumba as well as the hunguhungu.

Likewise, in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS) the Rama are located, who live next to the water and one of their main activities is fishing. They live in collective houses, a different aspect from other cultures.

If you want to know more about the towns indigenous people of Central America, we recommend the following article: Ethnic groups of Central America and their characteristics.

Social customs

For Nicaraguans, arriving on time is not an important aspect, so the unpunctuality Is the order of the day. They are people who consider themselves friendly and who preserve the value of hospitality.

In addition, they are used to physical contact while talking with other people and they usually greet each other with a kiss or shaking hands. The popular way of calling the people of this country is unique.


Approximately 60% of Nicaraguans are Catholic Christians and 25% Protestant. The rest either have no beliefs or profess a different religion.

Although the country does not have an official religion, on many occasions the Church is resorted to in important moments and the inhabitants take into account what it thinks on different topics.

On the other hand, a prominent aspect of the country's culture is that of legends, stories of indigenous origin that have passed from generation to generation.

One of them is La Carratenagua. It is said that some nights a large wagon passes through the streets, driven by Death and drawn by two slender oxen.

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