long term projects: la virgen de la altagracia
La Dia de la Virgen de Altagracia on January 21st
is the most important religious day in the Dominican
Republic. Our Lady of High Grace is the Patron Virgin of the country. Dominicans and many Haitians make a an annual pilgrimage to the Basilica in the city of Higuey. Vigils and services are held throughout the day followed by a long party into the night. The celebration is a blend of African religions and Catholicism where Dominicans and Haitians recite prayers sing hymns and dance.
Currently I am exploring the syncretism of Roman Catholic traditions and African-rooted religions and ceremonies in the Dominican Republic. Throughout the country, there are many events or fiestas patronales to honor patron saints and processions where Dominicans walk around the city with statues of their patron saint singing songs and praying.