La Purisima in Granada (short for Purisima Concepcion de Maria)

Year End Celebrations
This time of year there are many celebrations in Nicaragua combined with tradition and religion, and involve processions, marching bands and fireworks. It just wouldn’t be the same without the lively and boisterous sounds which accompany these cultural events.

La Purisima (short for Purisima Concepcion de Maria) is one of the most well-known celebrations where an altar is placed in the family home with a statue of the Virgin Mary so that family and friends can admire its “Purisima” or “Pureness” of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary; they then proceed with song and prayer. In Granada, the community also celebrates with a procession of the Virgin Mary through each neighborhood in the city. La Griteria is another part of La Purisima where at 6:00pm on every December 7th, there is yelling in the churches: “Quien causa tanta alegria?” or “Who causes so much happiness?” followed by the response “La Concepcion de Maria” – “Mary’s Conception.” Then followed by the sounds of fireworks and firecrackers. Many march through the streets and shout to the Virgin Mary and visit altars in their neighbor’s homes. La Griteria translates to the “the shouting” so, like many other occasions, but even more so, Nicaraguans revel in celebrations which may find you with your fingers stuck in your ears.

Calendar of the Altars of the Immaculate (by Street)

December 2: Street Palmira
December 3: Street Cuiscoma
December 4: Calle La Calzada
December 5: Calle El Arsenal
December 6: Calle Santa Lucia
December 7: Calle La Serenata Atravesada and the Purisima at midnight
December 8: Calle La Otra Banda

Christmas is widely observed as you might expect. Families enjoy decorating and adorning trees and placing them in the home where they are visible from the street. As in other parts of the world, it is common for families to enjoy a Christmas dinner while they await the arrival of Santa Clause. At midnight on December 24th is the celebration of Jesus’ birth and at this time dinner is served, children open their presents and the fireworks resume.

New Year is again celebrated with fireworks and firecrackers along with parties encompassing family and friends and maybe even in a trip to the disco. It is a joyous occasion to be out with the old year and in with the new.

There are other year end traditions and variations of these holiday celebrations in Granada and other regions of the country. It is a special time of year to be a part of such a magical, unique place in the world.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

The Casa Granada Team