Patron Saint Celebration

Feathered MenThe patron saint of my community is San Francisco and his day is celebrated on July 24. There were celebrations throughout that week, ending in a huge party. But, on July 24, there was a mass in the morning, a saint’s procession, and a carnival, all of which I attended.

The most interesting tradition about celebrating San Francisco is that men dress up in suits completely covered in feathers—pants, jackets, and hats—and wear masks. They wear these outfits to the mass and during the saint’s procession and then dance around to traditional Paraguayan music in front of the church. There’s also some drum beating to go along with the dance.

The mass was about an hour and included singing, a sermon, and biblical readings. For the procession a group of men dressed in feather outfits, followed by the church’s men, and the congregation took a figurine of San Francisco around the soccer field that is in front of the church. After that, the feathered men jumped around in the patio of the church, there was a raffle, and there was a carnival complete with crumbling rides.