The Festival of Santo Domingo de Guzman is a colorful summer celebration where it is customary for the devout to dress up and paint themselves black or red. The annual ten-day fiesta honoring the patron saint of Managua, Santo Domingo de Guzman, lasts from August 1 to August 10th. The first and last days are the most important and attract devout Catholics from all around the country.
The fiesta of Santo Domingo de Guzman begins at the Church of las Sierritas, 5 mi (8 km) from Managua. Thousands of people dance, honoring the saint, and carry the tiny statue of him to Managua. These festivities started after the discovery of the 8-cm (about 3-in) statue of Santo Domingo de Guzman by a local peasant who was cutting down a tree and found the tiny version of the saint with a beard and a tonsure, clad in a black cape and white robes. The celebration is also rooted in the pagan corn harvest, hence wild dances and the tradition to color bodies in black or red.
Entertainment during the festival includes a giant Ferris wheel, various carnival rides, equestrian parades, and bullfights, as well as fairs with popular art, toys, delicious carnival food, and all kinds of religious items.