Saturday is a holiday in the DR: Our Lady of High Grace Day


Staff member
Feb 20, 2019

The Dominican Republic celebrates the Day of Our Lady of High Grace, Virgen de la Altagracia on Saturday, 21 January 2023. The national holiday renders tribute to the religious protector of the Dominican people.

The Bishopric of Higüey and the Banco Popular Dominicano announced the transmission of the third religious vigil “Por amor a la Virgen,” in honor of the Virgin of La Altagracia. The event will be streamed live from the Basilica of Higüey. The event begins on 11:55pm on Friday, 20 January with the sounding of church bells when the clock strikes midnight. The event will be transmitted until 8am by Color Visión, Channel 9, with simultaneous transmission in more than 15 national and US channels and digital media of the Basilica and Banco Popular.

Following the traditional bell-sounding event, Monsignor Antonio Camilo, bishop emeritus of La Vega, will invite...

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Jun 16, 2014
This religious holiday needs an extra day on Monday to be celebrated properly with ear splitting music and drinking yourself into oblivion.
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Polls Forum Moderator
Jan 20, 2003
What I'm shocked another holiday can't be.... 🤣
Well, it only mentions the day of Altagracia while nothing about the birthday if Duarte which is nother holiday.

Btw, the first is on January 21 and the second on January 26. ;)

Now, the DR actually has less holidays then there were during colonial times. In fact, in William Walton's book from 1812 he mentions that one of the reasons slaves in the Spanish colonies were less productive than those in the colonies of other countries was due to the many feast days and by Spanish law slaves couldn't be made to work in those days.


Polls Forum Moderator
Jan 20, 2003
Btw, here is the schedule of events that will take place on the early morning of Jan 21 at the Basilica Ntra Sra de la Altagracia in Higüey, sponsored by Banco Popular.


PS. It should be noted that the DR is one of the few countries (could be the only one) with two official virgins and both of their days are holidays. One is Altagracia who is the protector of the Dominicans. Despite the official day of la Altagracia is in August, the DR celebrates her day on January 21 because thst day is the anniversary of the Battle of Sabana Real de la Limonada (today in northern Haiti near Cap Haitien) where the Spanish/Dominican troops beat the French in 1691 in response to a French invasion and attack of places in the Cibao as far as Santiago in 1690. The Dominican soldiers were mostly from Higüey and they already had the tradition if the devotion to Altagracia since the 1500's, thus they devoted their prayers to that virgin prior to attacking the French and despite the Dominicans were at a dissadvantage, they still won. Hence, from that time forward Altagracia was attributed as the protector of the Dominicans. In many other battles where Dominicans were fighting foreign invaders, a prayer to the Altagracia preceeded the initiation of the battles and in each one the Dominicans won despite often enough they were less disciplined, outnumbered, often with no uniforms and barefoot, and overall at a disadvantage compared to the invaders and the most common weapon was the machete while the invaders were using more muskets, canons, etc than the Dominicans. Nowadays the devotion to the Altagracia is simply a tradition for some and a religious devotion for others with not much else, but the origin of this devotion goes back to the battle in 1691.

The other virgin is Mercedes which is celebrated in September. She is the patron of the Dominican Republic.

Altagracia is the protector of the Dominicans and Mercedes the patron of the DR. Most Catholic countries only have a patron virgin such as Guadalupe in Mexico, La Antigua in Panama, etc. Due to the Altagracia's protection of the Dominicans status, there are decals of her on many windshields across the country, meant to be a protective charm. There is no such thing of Mercedes.
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Nickel with tin plating
Apr 12, 2019
Just for info, St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost objects.
St. Nicholas is the patron saint of kids.
St. Casmir is the patron saint of sweaters.