Festivals in the Dominican Republic

Find out about the most important events and festivals celebrated in the Dominican Republic.

Festivals in the Dominican Republic
Copyright Turismo RD

The island counts with a great variety of festivities shared out along the year and which allow the locals and tourists to enjoy the proper lively culture of the country.

Among the most relevants you have:

The 21st January the Señora de Altagracia Day. The Altagracia Virgin is the Protector and Spiritual Mother of the Dominicans and, to honour her, many devotees go on procession to the Higüey Temple to worship her.

Along the month of February different acts are celebrated to commemorate the fighters who expelled the Haitians from the country, outstanding the 27th as the National Day. This festivity matches with the most colourful lively celebration of the island, organized in all regions, the Carnival. By using costumes and masks, the same 27th February there are flashy parades in the most important cities; outstanding the ones celebrated in La Vega, Santo Domingo and Santiago.

Another of the original events taking place in the island is the Procigar Festival, usually celebrated from the 15th to the 20th February in the cities of La Romana, Puerto Plata and Santiago. Hundreds of people meet annually to enjoy a great variety of activities such as golf tournaments, merengue classes, trips to the beach, seminars about cigars, etc. More information in www.procigar.com

If you prefer the aquatic activities, also in February, you can attend to the Larimar Surfing Championship, in Barahona, specifically in the Playa Los Patos Beach; or the Master of the Ocean, an annual championship of kiteboarding, windsurfing, etc.


In April, it takes place the International Book Fair, in the Plaza de la Cultura Square in Santo Domingo.

In June it is celebrated the Puerto Plaza Cultural Festival on the third week of the month where, in addition to wonderful handicraft exhibitions, you will find the performance of the traditional African tribal dances, folkloric music, salsa or merengue, among many other shows.

Also at the beginning of June, it takes place the cuisine festival known as Food & Wine Festival, which combines the haute cuisine with the idyllic environment offered by Punta Cana.

In the same month of July it is celebrated one of the most attractive events for tourism. In the capital of the Republic is organized, for a week, the Merengue Festival, turning the city into a wonderful space of music, dancing, food stores and street markets.

In August you can attend the Merengue and Caribbean Rhythms Festival on the promenade of Santo Domingo where there is a mix of reggaeton, merengue, bachata, reggae and many more. Equally, the 16th August it is celebrated the Restoration Day which reminds the day of 1863 in which the Dominicans restored its sovereignty, which had been subjugated by the Spanish Crown. To honour this event it is organized a carnival with carriages parading at the rhythm of merengue.

If you are travelling in October to Puerto Plata, you can enjoy the amusing Merengue Festival. The pier becomes the ideal place to try warm dishes and beer in the stores arranged for the occasion. All this accompanied by parades, performances and fairs. At this time also takes places the Jazz Festival of Sosúa and Cabarete.

Later on, at the beginning of December, the month is touched with the spirit of Christmas as the trees are decorated with different glass beads and the leaves turn white and green; furthermore, almost every weekend until Epiphany are celebrated the Christmas Festivities.

On the other hand, along the year, there are events which allow the tourist to learn about the proper Dominican culture, such as:

Santo Domingo de Fiesta: An outdoors show, in the Plaza España Square of the Colonial City, which begins every Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. allowing the tourist to enjoy the Dominican dance and music. The entry is completely free.

Grupo Bonyé: Takes place every Sunday of the year in the Colonial City, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and there are free concerts of son, merengue and jazz.

On Thursdays nights on January and February and, then, between May and July, you can enjoy, in the Escalinatas del Conde Stairway of the Colonial City, of the most known Afro-Caribbean rhythms (rumba, son, merengue…) integrated with Jazz.

The Museum's Long Night, the night when the museums are opened with free admission until 12:00 a.m. It is characterized by being organized once every season of the year: the spring’s version, in march; the summer’s version, in June; the fall version, in September; and the winter version, in December.

Of all the festivals taking place in the Dominican Republic, the most important ones, in addition to the Carnival, are the Santo Domingo Merengue Festival and Puerto Plata.

For further information about the events and programmed activities in the island, find out about them in the webpage of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in the Dominican Republic: http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/es/events/proximos/

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