Ranging from palm-fringed beaches to stunning Mayan ruins, Honduras is a gem of a destination that is largely unexplored. Head over to Gulf de Fonseca’s sprawling shores or La Mosquita’s wetlands. Else, soak in the colonial beauty of Santa Rosa de Copán and Gracias. Needless to say, this Central American country has a wealth of unique experiences. Talking of unique experiences, the country’s festivals are no less brilliant. They’re the ultimate mash-up of religion, culture, and fun, making it a hugely enjoyable affair for visitors. Scroll down for a list of some of the top festivals in Honduras and be prepared for a whole lot of fun. Choose among the top Airbnb vacation rentals or maybe stay in an all-inclusive resort, too, for a more memorable holiday in town!
1. Feria de San Isidro (La Ceiba Carnival)
Hosted in the Honduran city La Ceiba, Feria de San Isidro is a week-long carnival held in honor of the city’s patron Saint Isidore the Laborer. This celebration in Honduras takes place in May, usually during the week leading up to the third Saturday of the month. Festivities, parades, live musical performances, and a whole lot of cultural activities bring the scene alive as enthusiastic Hondurans paint their faces with unique designs to add a dash of amazing to an already brilliant vibe. Don’t forget to head over to the town’s city center on the final day of the festival to catch the street parade. Feria de San Isidro is possibly the largest festival held in the country.
Feria de San Isidro
Address: La Ceiba
Takes place: May
2. Day of the Americas
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Held annually on April 14th, Day of the Americas, or Pan American Day, commemorates the establishment of the International Union of American Republics in 1890, promoting cooperation and peace between North and South America. On this Honduras festival and holiday, every American country displays pride at this important event in history. However, Honduras has its own way of adding a dash of unique flavor to the celebrations. Proud flag-waving, street parades, musical performances, and art displays bring the country’s streets alive. You may even catch re-enactments of important events from American history being performed by university or school students.
Day of the Americas
Takes place: April 14
3. Punta Gorda Festival
Punta Gorda Festival is celebrated by the Garifuna people inhabiting the Honduran island Roatan. It commemorates the day Garifuna people first arrived on the island, which is widely accepted to be April 12th to the day this festival is held. The locals put up lively theatre performances and re-enactments, dressed in traditional attires, infusing a sense of vivaciousness in the air. They sing songs in their native Garifuna language, coupled with beats of drums and other instruments. Food fairs, selling local beverages and dishes, are also set up – you have GOT to try Machuca (plantain soup), Gifity (a cocktail of local herbs and roots mixed with rum), traditional coconut bread, and pretty much the best traditional Honduran food.
Punta Gorda Festival
Takes place: April 12
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4. National Garifuna Festival
Hosted on the third weekend of July every year, National Garifuna Festival is held in the town of Bajamar, near Puerto Cortés in northwestern Honduras. Understandably, this Honduras holiday and celebration is held in the honor of the Garifuna people and communities. During this time, Bajamar comes alive with the locals sipping on Gifity and enjoying a merry time. There’s singing, dancing, and a whole lot of enjoyment, turning the entire town into a large party!
National Garifuna Festival
Takes place: July
5. Festival de Lluvia de Peces (Rain of Fish Festival)
Lluvia de Peces (Rain of Fish) is an occurrence truly unique to the small farming Honduran town Yoro. Although explanations – scientific and religious – vary, this phenomenon is said to be recorded in the town every year, when live fish rain down from the sky during peak monsoons. To celebrate this bizarre yet unique highlight of the town, the locals gather to celebrate Festival de Lluvia de Peces. This Honduras holiday and festival usually takes place during the second week of June. Town locals who follow religious explanations of this occurrence carry around effigies of priest Father Jose Manuel Subirana in parades, understanding that the “fish rain” was an answer to the priest’s prayer to feed the hungry people in the town. A truly peculiar yet interesting experience, this one.
Festival de Lluvia de Peces
Takes place: May or June
6. Semana Santa (Holy Week)
Among Honduras’ largest religious festivals, Semana Santa is a countrywide celebration that takes place around March to April (dates vary due to the lunar calendar). The festivities extend over a week, during which time locals celebrate the life and works of Jesus Christ. While Palm Sunday marks the first day, Easter Sunday marks the last. Numerous religious displays are carried around in parades and multi-colored sawdust carpets, exhibiting religious iconography, are designed on city streets on Good Friday. You can catch some of the best celebrations at Comayagua, Tegucigalpa, and Santa Bárbara.
Takes place: March to April
7. Fiesta de Maiz (Corn Festival)
Hosted in the city of Danlí, located some 90km (56 miles) southeast of capital city Tegucigalpa, Fiesta de Maiz is celebrated to honor one of the most important food grains in the country today, and a central food item of native Mayan tradition – corn. The celebrations usually kick off during the last week of August and go on until the beginning of September, during which time locals put up fervent displays highlighting the centrality of corn. Corn-based food preparations (corn tortillas, corn tacos, corn tamale, etc.) take over local fairs and they’re totally worth trying. Don’t forget to try the unique yet hugely delicious corn doughnuts sold during the festival. Live music concerts, skits, and several other fun activities also take place, so do try and attend Fiesta de Maiz.
Fiesta de Maiz
Takes place: August
8. Sunjam Festival
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Music and party lovers, listen up! The first weekend of August is all about wild partying and letting your hair down at Water Cay in Utila Island in southern Honduras. Sunjam Festival, a 24-hour techno music beach party, kicks off around noon on the first Saturday of August and goes on till the following Sunday evening. A line-up of professional DJs from across the world bring the scene alive at this otherwise tranquil beach destination, turning it into a large discotheque, enveloped in groovy electronic music and high spirits. The commute to the festival is a short 20- to 45-minute boat ride from the main Utila town. Sunjam Festival follows Thailand’s famous (or infamous, as you’d like to see it!) Full Moon Party’s format, so be prepared for a whole lot of pulsating vibe and fast-paced fun, if you’re planning to attend. The price of the admission tickets varies depending on when you purchase, but they can range from 20 to 60 USD. Of course, one of the best things to do in the country is go to a beach and you can make your trip a lot more special by going during the Sunjam Festival.
Address: Water Cay, Utila, Honduras
Website: Sunjam Festival
Price: 20 - 60 USD
Takes place: August
9. Día de la Independencia (Independence Day)
September 15 marks Honduras’ Independence Day, a day that all Hondurans come together to honor and celebrate the country’s independence from Spanish rule in 1821. The countrywide celebrations begin with an exuberant fireworks display the night before, and festivities start early in the morning on September 15th. It is a national holiday, so locals flock to watch the marching band performances and parades. Fervent flag-hoisting and chants of the national anthem fill the air with a patriotic vibe, making it an interesting experience for visitors. Aside from this, local food fairs sell Honduran delicacies such as cassava with chicharron (fried pork belly), tamales, and what not that you ought to try.
Día de la Independencia
Takes place: September 15
10. Feria Juniana (Juniana Carnival Fair)
Held in honor of Honduran city San Pedro Sula’s patron saint San Pedro, Feria Juniana is a beautiful mishmash of religious parades, food fairs, fireworks, and so much more. The festivities are spread across June’s last two weeks, during which time the entire town turns into a full-blown party. Several commercial fairs (electronics, crafts, livestock exhibitions, etc.) also take place in the town around this time. Else, you can head to La Plaza Juniana for some lip-smacking food. A trip to San Pedro Sula’s city center is a must if you want to witness excellent parades with floats and marching bands that mark the festival’s final day.
Address: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Takes place: June
Experience local flavors, cultures, and people
Regardless of whichever time of the year you choose to go to Honduras, there’s likely to be a festival happening. Having said that, it’ll be great to sync your visit with some of these festivals, so that you’re not only able to discover the country’s touristy spots, but also enjoy a taste of its local flavors, cultures, and people.
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