The Dominican Republic is known to have wonderful and colorful cultural events. Throughout the year, for instance, the Caribbean country throws numerous festivals which are also part of the tourist attraction.

If you're planning to visit the country, be sure to attend at least one of these festivals. These fun festivals will be unforgettable experiences. Ensure a strong internet connection so you can upload pictures and videos you take right away. To make it easier to swap plans, you can buy an eSIM for the Dominican Republic with a plan that suits you the best.

Not sure when to go? Find out the schedule of the festivals now!

1. Carnaval Dominicano 

Colorful is the perfect word to describe this festival. Locals who are a part of the Carnaval in the Dominican Republic will be wearing colorful costumes where they will dance around to the music. 

The history of the Carnaval Dominicano started way back in 1520.  However, people were forbidden to wear colorful clothes during religious celebrations when the Dominican Republic was occupied by Haiti. After the country announced its independence on February 27, 1844, people started wearing colorful costumes and dancing to the music. 

The festival takes place every Sunday in February throughout the country. If you want to see its extravagant closing, come on the first Sunday of March. This is when the festival ends and there is always a massive parade in downtown Santo Domingo. The best carnival troupes from all over the country will come and compete for a grand prize.

2. Barcelo Desalia Festival 

The Barcelo Desalia Festival is a seven-day music festival that attracts over 5,000 visitors annually. Held every February in Playa Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana, prominent DJs from around the world have come to the country to perform at the festival, including Calvin Harris and Rehab.

Make sure to get the dress code right before attending the festival, because attendees are wearing white as well. So don't forget to pack your white clothes!

3. Guloya Festival

The Dominican Republic has a special festival for the Cuban refugees who settled in the country during the Dominican Republic's war of independence. The festival is called The Guloya Festival and is held annually every January in the area of San Pedro de Macoris. 

There is also a costume parade during the festival, where people wear colorful costumes in the street and dance to the drums and flutes. This also celebrates the Afro-Dominican heritage of many locals. Due to its colorful and special parade, UNESCO labeled the Guloya's dance as a 'Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Patrimony of Humanity". 

4. Merengue Festival

Merengue is the music that locals adored so much and it's also a popular form of Dominican music. The country boasts globally renowned Merengue artists like Juan Luis Guerra, Johnny Ventura, and Wilfrido Vargas. 

Flaunting its pride, the country has the Merengue Festival, which is held every summer. The festival was first held in the 1960s in Santo Domingo. Other than dancing to the music, you'll be able to taste the Dominican traditional food as well. Don't worry about not getting a chance to visit, because this festival is always held for several days. 

5. Semana Santa

Semana Santa is an exceptional festival as the festival combines two religions. Semana Santa means Holy Week, which is a Catholic festival in Latin American countries that is held every Spring. For the Dominican Republic, this festival adds to the ceremonies and celebrations of Vudu, an Afro-Dominican religion. 

Hence, during the festival, you'll see a Catholic procession that follows a Gaga Vudu dance and music ceremonies. In the Gaga Vudu ceremonies, you will see people dancing in bright outfits, then taking ceremonial showers for good luck, removing makeup, and lastly doing body scrub. 

6. Puerto Plata Carnival

Planning to visit the Dominican Republic in February? If yes, you'll get to experience the Puerto Plata Carnival. The festival is held for a whole month with a carnival parade from the Puerto Plata Pier to Long Beach and nearby streets. You can also watch the carnival music group and other festivities at Parque de la Independencia as part of the festival. 

The highlight of this carnival is seeing people wearing Diablo Cojuelo (limping devil) costumes or masks. The local people believe that the character is named Diablo Cojuelo because he was thrown on earth and hit the ground, causing him to limp. As the country was colonized by Spain, the mask is a representation of the Spanish who came to the Dominican Republic to enslave and hurt the locals.