Venezuela Travel Guides

January

Paradura del Niño
Held on 6 January, Paradura del Niño or Parade of the Children is the Venezuelan celebration of the catholic feast of the Epiphany which acknowledges the time when the three kings visited the infant Jesus in Bethlehem. This festival sees children receiving gifts which they believe are given to them by ‘Los Tres Reyes Magos’ (the Three Kings).

February

Feria del Sol
Held in Merida, the Feria del Sol is a day dedicated to paying tribute to the Virgin of La Candelaria. Locals don masks and bright costumes and engage in dancing and cultural activities.

Mardi Gras
The Mardi Gras is a festival held prior to the catholic period of Lent and sees four days of celebrations with the Monday prior to Lent designated as a public holiday.

The Burial of the Sardine
This popular Hispanic tradition is followed in Venezuela to mark the beginning of Lent and sees the ceremonial burying of the sardine which is in fact not a fish at all but a symbolic doll.

March

Los Tambores de Barlovento
Los Tambores de Barlovento is held to mark the official start of the wet season.

April

Holy Week
Beginning on Palm Sunday and concluding one week later on Easter Sunday, the catholic observance of Holy Week is as enthusiastically followed in Venezuela as in any predominantly catholic country.

May

Velorio de la Cruz de Mayo
Also known as the Cross of May, Velorio de la Cruz de Mayo is a religious festival held on the 3rd of the month in Caracas. Locals gather to pay their respects to crosses which have been adorned with garlands, standing around them to pray and sing songs.

June

Feast of John the Baptist
Held on 24 June, the Feast of John the Baptist is one of the Venezuela’s most significant events with the city of Caracas perhaps featuring the most enthusiastic celebrations. The festival sees locals take to the streets for an uninhibited display of dancing as African drums are pounded and mantras are chanted. The festival lasts the entire day and is an unusual mix of traditional catholic rites with ancient pagan rituals.

July

Virgin of El Carmen day
On 16 July, the Vargas state, located just east of the capital, celebrates Virgin of El Carmen day with catholic masses, street processions and a variety of colourful celebrations.

September

Fiesta de La Virgen de Coromoto
Held on the 8th of the month in Guanare, the Fiesta de La Virgen de Coromoto is one of the many Venezuelan festivals that pay tribute to the Virgin Mary. Expect processions and street-based activities.

October

Virgen del Rosario
Held in Maracaibo on the 5th of the month, Virgen del Rosario is a similar festival to that held for Virgen de Coromoto in Guanare.

El Hatillo Music Festival
Held in El Hatillo, which is located 15km southeast of Caracas, this popular annual event sees performers gathering in the town square and other central venues to perform music in genres such as jazz, folk and rock.

December

Feast of the Holy Innocents
The Feast of the Holy Innocents is a religious festival held in tribute to the new-born babies murdered under the ruling of King Herod following the birth of Jesus. An unusual tradition on this day is for locals to play pranks on one another, as is the tradition on 1 April in other countries.

San Benito el Moro
The feast of San Benito is celebrated with enthusiasm by the people of Lake Maracaibo on account of San Benito being the patron saint of the region. Celebrations are conducted during Christmas week and last up until New Year’s Day.

National Holidays

New Year’s Day – 1 January
Carnival – February, dates vary.
Holy Thursday – April, date varies
Good Friday – April, date varies
Declaration of Independence – 19 April
Labour Day – 1 May
Battle of Carabobo – 24 June
Independence Day – 5 July
Birth of Simón Bolívar – 24 July
Columbus Day – 12 October
Christmas Day – 25 December