Honduras: holidays, events, climate
There are a number of holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring.
Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday.
Pentecost takes place 50 days after Easter.
Corpus Christi is celebrated on the second Thursday after Pentecost.
All Saints' Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the first Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st.
On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||Año Nuevo/New Year|
|March April||Semana Santa/Easter|
|1st of May||Día del Trabajo/Labor Day with demonstrations|
|May 2nd-Sunday||Mother's Day|
|September 15||Día de la Indepedencia/National Day (Independence Day)|
|October 3||Anniversario de Francisco Morazán/Birthday of Morazán (national holiday)|
|October 12||Día de la Raza/People's Day|
|October 21||Día de las Fuerzas Armadas/Armed Forces Day|
Source: Countryaah - Honduras Holidays
The following table shows some selected patronage festivals in the country.
|January 1||Dulce Nombre de Jesus||Culmi, Olancho|
|January 2||Festival of Pesch (Carnival)||Culmi, Olancho|
|January 14||Señor de Quelala||Jesus de Otoro, Intibuca|
|May 3rd||Día de la Cruz||including Apala, Sta. Cruz de Yojoa, Triunfo de la Cruz, La Ceiba|
|May 15||San Isidoro (Carnival)||La Ceiba, San Francisco de la Paz|
|June 21||San Luis||Balfate|
|June 24||San Juan Bautista (Carnival)||La Entrada La Paz and Chimistan|
|3rd Sunday||Mango and Mamey Fesitival (Carnival)||Yuscaran|
|16th of July||Virgen del Carmen||El Negrito, Santa Fe|
|22.-29. July||Festival of the Potato (Carnival)||La Esperanza|
|July 26||Festival of Milk||La Ceiba|
|15th of August||Asunción de Nuestra Señora||Puerto Cortés|
|Last Saturday in August||Corn Festival||Danli|
|September 23rd||National Orange Festival||Sanaguer|
|September 24||Las Mercedes||Tegucigalpa, Potrerillos, Marcala|
|4th of October||San Francisco de Asís||Catacamas, Orica, Valle de Angeles, Amapala|
|October 17||Festival of the fish||Amapala|
|December 8||Virgen de Concepción||in many parts of the country|
Soccer is the most popular sport in Honduras, the season opens in autumn and lasts until spring.
In Honduras there are basically only two seasons: summer (dry season) and winter (rainy season), with pleasant temperatures also in winter.
The climate is strongly influenced by the different altitude zones and the location of the country between two oceans.
The dry season falls in the highlands and the Pacific lowlands from November to April. The rainy season lasts from May to October.
The peak of the rainy season is reached in the months of October to December.
The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who want to spend a pure beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role. For people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause problems, the summer months from June to September are well suited for a stay in Honduras. People who prefer a more moderate climate and lower temperatures should better choose the winter months from November to April for a stay in Honduras.
The following table shows a range of climate data for the country. It should be noted, however, that the climatic conditions in different regions of Honduras can differ considerably from each other and thus also from the values shown. In addition, such monthly temperature averages say little about the possible current minimum or maximum temperatures. It is not uncommon for average temperatures of around 30 °C to reach maximum values of 40 °C or even more on a number of days. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in the country.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
In Honduras, the birthday of the patron saint is celebrated annually in every city and municipality. These are occasions for multi-day folk festivals that are extensively celebrated. On the working days before the actual festival day, parades move through the whole city, on Saturday the city festival ends with dancing and live music.
La Ceiba on the Caribbean coast should be highlighted. The patronage festival there lasts two weeks and has the character of a carnival. Last Saturday, thousands of Hondurans dance through the streets to the rhythms of salsa, cumbia and punta.
The country's professional groups are also honored with festivities. There are, among others, the day of the teacher (Día del maestro), the day of the nurse (Día de la enfemera), the day of the secretary (Día de la secretaria) and the day of the accountant (Día del perito).
On this day, those honored do not have to work and are invited to a festival in their honor.
Many regional festivals are dedicated to local agricultural and culinary customs. The coffee festival in El Paraíso takes place on the 3rd Saturday in February, on the 3rd Sunday in June there is the Mango Festival in Yuscarán, from July 22nd to 29th the Potato Festival and on July 26th the Milk Festival in La Ceiba. The famous Corn Festival in Danlí is celebrated on the last Saturday in August, on September 23rd the Orange Festival in Sonaguera and Colón and on October 17th the Fish Festival in Amapala.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Copán Mayan Ruins
Copán was some of the most important Mayan cities, first mentioned in a letter from Diego García de Palacio in March 1576. But of course the city of Copán was much older. The settlement history of Copán began as early as 1,300 BC. and from the year 400 AD. began the rise of the city to a supra-regional power. The city experienced its heyday in the 7th century AD. and it is believed that up to 30,000 people lived in Copán. Due to excessive growth, the supply situation deteriorated and from the 10th century the population decreased until the area was deserted in the middle of the 13th century.
The American lawyer John L. Stephens toured the Copán Forests in 1839 and bought the copan forest and its structures for US $ 50. Scientific research began around 1885 with the British Alfred Maudslay, he had some originals transported away, which are now in the British Museum in London.
In the years that followed, Copán was researched by various scientists until the Honduran Anthropological and Historical Institute was founded in 1952 and work has been more coordinated ever since. The finds are still spectacular, to this day graves, altars, steles and buildings are repeatedly uncovered.
The excavation site - the largest Mayan archaeological museum in the world - has been open to visitors since 1993. Copán is one of the most important contemporary witnesses of a non-European high culture.
The ruins were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980.
The ruins of Copán are particularly known for their extremely ornate relief work. The so-called hieroglyphic staircase of Temple 26 is particularly well-known. 2,200 hieroglyphic blocks are distributed over 55 steps and reflect the history of Copán. The hieroglyphic staircase is the longest Mayan text carved in stone. Furthermore, there are the Acropolis (the former administrative center), the ball playground (the second largest in the Maya world), the Altar Q and the numerous stelae with reliefs and decorations.
Biosphere Reserve The Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve in Honduras is one of the few tropical rainforests in Central America. Its area is about 5,000 km² and extends from the Caribbean coast to an altitude of 1300 m inland. The biodiversity of plants and animals is great. Jaguars, pumas and tapirs as well as rare species of parrots live in the park. Finds of rock paintings show that the area was home to a long history of Indian life. Even today Miskito and Peschindians still live in the park. The Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982; it was the first world natural heritage site in all of Central America.
Copán Ruinas/San José de Copán
The second most important archaeological site in the country is located northwest of Lago Yojoa, in a 400 km² valley, which geologically goes back to extinct volcanoes. Since 800 BC A civilization developed here that was the most important between the Mayas living in the north and the Incas living in the south. This culture has hardly been explored. Another site is in Chalchauapa in El Salvador. In addition to the archaeological excavations, there is also a nature tourism park with teak and acacia forests. There is also a research site there.
The Maya center was discovered in 1935 and is located a few kilometers from Copán Ruinas. Today, some 12 m high pyramids and steles have been uncovered and reconstructed on the excavation site. They are spread over five large squares. In classical times there were over 200 buildings here by the formerly over 1,000 residents of El Puente.
In April 1994, during a cave hike at a depth of 600 m in a cathedral-like room, the remains of a dozen ceramic vessels and glowing bones of around 200 people were discovered. The remains were later dated to 1,000 BC. Dated; the people of that time cut up the bones of their deceased and rubbed them with phosphorescent lime in order to put them back together again. Based on protein analyzes, it turned out that these people were not Mayans, since they did not eat corn, but probably cassava. With this find, the largest pre-Maya civilization of Honduras to date was discovered. The caves are currently being thoroughly explored and may therefore be (temporarily) closed to the public.
Palacio del Presidente/Tegucigalpa
The former presidential seat looks like a medieval fort on the banks of the Río Choluteca. On its front you can see an oversized relief with the national coat of arms, which shows five lions holding a chain.
The modern building rests on numerous columns and was built between 1952 and 1955 on the site of an earlier government building. The monumental sculptures by Mario Zamora are on the ground floor; they depict scenes from agriculture, industry, education and everyday work. This is where the Honduran Congress meets.
Hydroelectric power station El Cajón/Departamento Puljapanazan
The hydroelectric power station is the second largest in Latin America. It was completed in 1985 with the support of the Deutsche Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau. The 250 m high dam holds back the water from the 90 km² Francisco Morazán reservoir.
The impressive steel suspension bridge was completed in 1937. It spans the Choluteca River in the city of the same name.
In the building of the first university of the city is the Nationalgalerie with its high-quality collection of contemporary modern and classical painting, colonial art and a collection of handicrafts of the individual provinces.
Museo de la República de Honduras/Museum of the Republic
Until 1992 the building was still a presidential palace and still gives a lively insight into Honduran politics. The attractions are the presidential office and the famous blue hall of the state. In addition, the visitor can gain an insight into the history of the last centuries with the help of state symbols and documents, but also personal items.
Teatro Nacional Bonilla/Tegucigalpa
The theater was built in 1912 and modeled after the Athens theater in Paris.
The only symphony orchestra in Honduras plays here, and there are regular theater and music performances.
Escuela Agrícola Panamericana (EAP)/American Academy of Agriculture
Founded fifty years ago by the United Fruit Company, the academy stands out as a training center for agricultural engineers and economists for the entire continent. It is located in the valley of Zamorano, one of the most fertile valleys in the country. Thanks to a complex system of scholarships (including from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation) and donations, the EAP can also train students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. The curriculum links theory, teaching, research and production. The butcher's and cheese-making pilot operations operate across Honduras, generating 30% of the total cost of the project. With several hundred international specialists, it has inestimable potential.
M useo Colonial or Museo Eclesiastico (church museum)/Comayagua
In the " longest-serving " museum in Honduras, almost all of the gold, silver and precious stone relics of the five churches of the city are housed. The first university in Central America was founded in the building of the current museum in 1632.
Museo de Antroplógia e Historia (Anthropological Museum)/San Pedro Sula
The museum gives an overview of the pre-Mayan settlement to the more recent economic and social history of San Pedro Sula. Photos are used to document that fifty years ago the city had no paved roads. The museum has reconstructed farmhouses and finds from more than a millennium.
Monumento de La Paz (Peace
Monument )/Tegucigalpa The monument stands on the hill Juan A. Lainez in the south of the city. It is intended to commemorate the long period of the bloody civil war and the hard-won peace.
Theater and opera
National Theater of Honduras
The Teatro Nacional Manuel Bonilla (National Theater) is located in the Tegucigalpa. The theater was built in 1912. The interior of the theater is modeled on the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris. In addition to theater productions, dance performances and concerts take place here.
Churches and cemeteries
Catedral San Miguel/Tegucigalpa
The cathedral was built from 1765 to 1782 in the Spanish-American baroque style. It has two towers and the facade shows seven archangels with the archangel Michael in the middle. The main altar is made of cedar wood and covered with gold leaf, the tabernacle, which is composed of 20 pieces of silver and represents a pomegranate, is impressive. On the right-hand side next to the entrance there is a baptismal font that dates from 1634. The oldest tree in the country can be found in the courtyard of the cathedral; it was here before the Spanish conquerors arrived. He is a fertility symbol of the Nahuatl and is called Escilinxochiltl (Latin Bourrieri huanita).
Iglesia Virgen de Dolores/Tegucigalpa
In the founding period, this church was built by the freed slaves and mulattos. With this they demonstrated their faith and the new prosperity. The facade shows a unique mixture of Afro-Indian and baroque elements.
Iglesia San José de Yuscaran/Yuscarán
The church is very precious and was built of wood from what was then the Spanish motherland. The crucifix carved from cedar wood and the life-size statue of "Jesus on the mule" date from the 18th
Cathedral Santa Maria/Comayagua
The cathedral was built between 1685 and 1715. The facade is decorated with the depiction of the apostles among tropical plants. The clock in the church tower is over 800 years old and probably the oldest on the continent.
Cementerio Antiguo (old cemetery/Trujillo)
The local greats of the city are buried in the historic cemetery of Trujillo, the graves are partly open and destroyed, but the cemetery has a unique atmosphere. The most famous grave is that of the American pirate William Walker who was up to mischief in Central America for a long time
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras
The autonomous national university of Honduras was founded in Tegucigalpa in 1847. Today the university has several campuses across the country. The university is the largest in Honduras by student numbers and one of the largest universities in all of Latin America.
Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana
The Central American Technical University is a private university with three head offices in San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba and Tegucigalpa. The university was founded in 1986. There are currently around 8,000 students enrolled at this university.
National Park This national park was established in 1980 and is located 20 km from the capital. It is 7,500 hectares in size, the highest point is at an altitude of 2,270 m. The park provides habitat for quetzals, armadillos, anteaters, pumas, ocelots, peccaries and the opossum. In the last 50 years La Tigra has developed into a full-fledged mountain cloud forest. It has its own microclimate, determined by the altitude and its closed forest cover.
Cave of Taulabé
Over the millennia have formed in the caves worth seeing stalagmites and stalactites. To date, the exact depth of the caves has not been explored.
Lago de Yojoa
Honduras' largest inland lake measures around 90 km² and the area around it is one of the most humid climates in the country. For this reason, pineapples, pines, coffee and lime trees grow side by side. The lake is a popular breeding area for around 375 species of birds. Boat trips can be taken on the lake, but there is also the possibility of windsurfing.
Here is the highest waterfall in the country with 42 m, it lies below a place of worship venerated by the Mayas. Pulhpanzak means "fall of the white river", in Spanish the river is called Río Lindo.
National Park The second highest point in Honduras, the Montaña Santa Bárbara, is located in the national park, at an altitude of 2,744 m. Quetzals and wild cats live in the cloud forest, the park has not yet been explored. Trekking tours and exploration expeditions are offered for the visitor.
Celaque National Park
The area of the park is overgrown with cloud forest, here is the highest mountain in the country, Cerro Las Minas, with a height of 2,870 m. Jaguars, tapirs and quetzals are native to this area. The park administration offers trekking tours to the top of the mountain.
National Park Punta Sal/Tela
West of Tela is one of the most impressive national parks in Honduras. The park consists of small natural beach bays, mangrove lagoons, coastal rainforest and the foothills of the coral reef of the Islas de Bahía as well as some cliffs.
Pico Bonito National Park
With its size of 670 km², this national park is the largest of the country's eleven national parks. The mountain is 2,433 m high and it takes up to a week to climb. The park also includes a tropical rainforest. On the slope of the Pico Bonito there is a subtropical forest and at an altitude of 1,000 m, the mountain cloud forest begins, which is home to tapirs, jaguars and anteaters.
Cuero y Salado
The 130 km² mangrove and coastal rainforest is located near La Ceiba. The Honduran nature conservation organization gradually wrested the region from the ranchers. Howler monkeys, white capuchin monkeys, kingfishers, toucans and herons can be seen in the densely overgrown canals and rivers. But above all the Manatí, the Caribbean manatee, is the home of this game reserve.
Islas de Bahía
The second largest coral reef in the world stretches along in front of the three islands off the Caribbean coast. The reef is rich in colorful coral fish and other fish species. Sea turtles can also be seen. Diving and snorkeling are offered on each of the islands; Honduras is one of the cheapest diving areas in the world. With the support of the United Nations, the Bay Islands Conservation Association is protecting the coral reef and investigating the causes of worrying coral death.
The Miskitia is the largest contiguous rainforest area in Central America, it covers the eastern Caribbean coast of the country. In the hinterland there is the wet savannah, then comes the rainforest, which impresses with a species-rich variety of hardwoods, ferns, bromeliads and wild animals such as the puma and the great anteater. The area is crossed by several large rivers, lagoons and mangrove forests have formed on the coast. The area takes up a quarter of the area of Honduras, but is sparsely populated. With around 30,000 people, the Miskito represent the largest proportion of the population. Unlike in Nicaragua, they were able to preserve their own culture and speak little Spanish themselves. In addition to the Miskito, other descendants of the indigenous people live here, such as the Sumu, the Tawahka.