Corpus Christi Day

Dance of the “Diablicos Limpios” (Clean Devils)

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The “El Torito“ (the bull) dance

The “El Torito“ (the bull) dance.

Corpus Christi Day mass takes place today, Thursday, June 4 at 10 a.m. at the Colonial Church of San Atanasio. Church service begins with the country’s oldest and most significant dance, the “Danza del Gran Diablo” (Dance of the Grand Devil).

The “Diablico Encuetado” or firework devils

The “Diablico Encuetado” or firework devils.

The dance features the “Diablo Mayor,” who asks the Archangel Michael for permission to enter the church, recalling colonial traditions that reenacted the sacramental acts within the house of worship.

The Corpus Christi procession takes place at noon, a solemn occasion in which the Holy Sacrament is taken to the village streets in order for good to triumph over evil. Traditional dances accompany the Corpus procession, which leads through the town where altars and carpets of flowers will placed in order to receive the Eucharistic.

La Villa de Los Santos continues their religious observance eight days later when the Octave of Corpus Christi takes place, featuring artistic presentations in the town plazas throughout Thursday, June 11. The festival comes to a close Friday, June 12, the Day of the Sacred Heart.

For visitors, the festival continues until Saturday, June 13, with a “Day dedicated to tourism,” and Sunday, June 14 with the “Day of the Santeña woman,” cultural events sponsored by the ATP.

Dance of the “Diablicos Limpios” (Clean Devils)

Dance of the “Diablicos Limpios” (Clean Devils).

In our next edition, The Visitor will feature the second half of our Corpus Christi special supplement with more details on these events.

Special mention must also be given to Miguel Leguízamo and his “Asociación Rescate de Danzas,” the group that organizes these festivities in order to maintain the traditions of their ancestors alive and continue sharing them with the world.

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