Saints, Feast, Family
- Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring -
Saint of the day:
the Mother of Mercy, Virgin of Mercy
Saints Mercedes is a patron of the Dominican Republic
Saint Mercedes' Story
Today, the 24th of Septemeber, since the foundation of a new religious Order back in 1218 in Spain, the Dominican Republic, as part of its rich history and predominant Catholic beliefs, celebrates “El Día de la Virgen de las Mercedes”, otherwise known as the “Virgin Mercedes Day”!
Although the holiday was originally established in 1218 in Spain, as the Dominican Republic was at that time not yet a Spanish colony, it wasn’t until several hundred years later that Catholicism became the predominant religion in the Dominican Republic. So it was in 1844, the year of the Dominican Independence, that the Virgen de las Mercedes was declared “Patroness of the Dominican Republic”, and the holiday began to be celebrated in this country.
The sanctuary of the Virgen de las Mercedes is located in the ‘Santo Cerro’ (Holy Hill), a small hill on which stood the ancient city of La Concepción de La Vega, this holy place is located in the middle of the Dominican Republic, in between La Vega and Santiago.
Virgen de las Mercedes, considered a spiritual guide for many cities in the country, Mercedes day, is celebrated with great devotion on the 24th of September – mostly in the towns of Cabrera, Constanza, Hato Mayor, Imbert, Pimentel and Sabana Grande de Palenque, which are distributed all over the country – and on this day many hundreds of people travel up to the “Santo Cerro” to pray and offer the Virgen de las Mercedes flowers, among many other rituals.
Happy Mercedes Day, and we hope this can be for all, a beautiful day to enjoy with the family!
Santo Cerro 41000, Dominican Republic
La Bandera Dominicana, or 'The Dominican Flag',
is what Dominicans call the national standard lunchtime dish of rice, beans, and meat.
La Bandera Dominicana: Traditional Lunch Meal
La Bandera Dominicana, or 'The Dominican Flag', is what Dominicans call the national standard lunchtime dish.
One of the first things that most visitors to the Dominican Republic will learn is that La Bandera Dominicana, or “The Dominican Flag”, is also what Dominicans call the national standard lunchtime dish of rice, beans, and meat, sometimes a.k.a. la comida or el almuerzo, or even el plato del día.
Pudín de Pan (Spiced Bread Pudding)
What is "La Bandera Dominicana"?
La bandera’s namesake is the tricolor Dominican flag with its distinctive red, white and blue design framing the national insignia. "La Bandera" food is mainly composed of Dominican rice and beans with chicken, the red represented by the beans, the white by the rice, and – with a splash of poetic and culinary license here – the meat – usually chicken or beef – represents the third color. There's always also some type of salad to go with them.
If you want to get fancy and expand outside la bandera, beans -- traditionally red kidney beans, cranberry or pinto beans -- can be substituted by black or white beans, or replaced by guandules (pigeon peas). Fish or pork can take the place of the chicken or beef. Another possible addition is tostones – fried green plantains, and fritos maduros (fried ripe plantains) – and avocado and concón are always welcome. A standard lunch is usually also accompanied by salad, as simple or fancy as the budget allows, iced water, and may be followed by a simple dessert like dulce de leche cortada – curdled milk fudge – or perhaps dulce de piña – candied pineapple - and/or a strong, sweet black coffee, simply known as un cafecito.