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The climate is basically tropical and there are only two seasons, the dry and the wet season. Sometimes they are as well called summer and winter (in Spanish: verano e invierno). Nicaragua is divided into three different zones according to their climate. The Pacific zone, in the west and close to the lakes of Nicaragua and Managua, is tropical, dry and with relatively little precipitation. It is characterized by its high temperatures between 27C and 32C (81F and 90F) in the rainy season and between 30C and 35C (86F and 95F) in the dry season. Summer runs approximately from November to April and Winter from May to October.
The sub-tropical zone is located in the center of the country and because of its altitude the air gets more refreshing eastwards. From the center towards the Caribbean coast the climate is humid, tropical and high in precipitations which is prefect for a flourishing tropical rainforest. 
Finally, there is the Atlantic zone, with a climate that is either tropical or tropical humid, sometimes with heavy rains and high temperatures, typical for the humid tropical forest.

Earthquakes and warfare have destroyed much of the Nicaraguan cultural heritage but colonial building can still be found in the cities of Leon and Granada. 
Poetry is the most popular art in Nicaragua and the poet Ruben Dario (1867- 1916) is worldwide known as the "Prince of Spanish and American literature". Later the turbulent years of the 50's and 60's created a new generation of revolutionary poets and novelists. 
The Nicaraguans like to mix dance and theatre and you can often enjoy shows in Managua, Masaya, Diriamba, Matagalpa, Leon and Granada. One of those popular theatrical inspired dances is "El Gegense" that satirically represents the impression of Nicaragua's indigenous people by the first arrival of the Spanish. 
Nicaragua's calendar is full of Patron Saint Festivals and celebrations that involve lots of religious symbols and signs which are influenced by the ancient indigenous cultures that are still present thanks to the oral tradition. All celebrations have a solemn mass that is conducted by the local priest or the diocesan bishop. 
Following the saints' images, people offer flower arrangements and give offerings of little gold and silver objects. This is especially common in the Pueblos Blancos (White Towns), near Granada City. Everybody take part in the celebrations. Children, parents and the elderly, dance, sing and pray. Food and music are the main components of these manifestations along with Equestrian Parades and Bullfights. 
Music is a very important element in the Nicaraguan society and is heard everywhere. Latin American music, such as salsa, merengue and romantic songs, are popular as well as pop and rock from Europe and the United States. The English-speaking town Bluefields on the Caribbean coast is a center for reggae music brought there by the regions black population. 
Most popular among Nicaraguan artworks are hammocks, rocking chairs, soapstone carving and basketwork, which can be purchased all over the country. A special place for handicraft is the Solentiname Archipelago in the southeast of Lake of Nicaragua. The people of the region makes their living from artwork and paintings that are being produced in almost every house on the islands and the site is a popular destination for artists from all over the world looking for a quiet place where they can find inspiration to be creative. 

The Nicaraguan food as in all Mesoamerican countries is based on corn. Corn has a deep cultural meaning. It is believed that Quetzalcoatl, a mythical and historic celebrity who was considered the civilizer and guide of Mesoamerican people, put a grain of corn on the lips of the first woman and the first man and first after they ate this they became able to think and work. Nowadays corn is the main ingredient used in cakes, spirits, confectionery, drinks, desserts, etc. Cassava, beans and chili pepper are also widely used as ingredient in different Nicaraguan dishes. 
The most popular food in Nicaragua is the "Gallo Pinto", which consists of rice and beans and sometimes combined with chicken or beef and also plantains, potatoes and salad. Seafood is popular along the coasts. Corn is part of the everyday diet and is consumed as pastries, deserts and the famous "Nacatamales" made of maize pasta, filled with meat and vegetables and wrapped in banana leaves. Other popular and traditional dishes are: "Fritanga" a combination of rice, beans, fried sliced plantains, salad and meat, pork and chicken. "Quesillo", a tortilla served with cheese and sour cream. "Vigorn", is a boiled cassava top with cabbage salad and chicharron (fried pork skin), cabbage and yucca. "Tortilla" is a thin corn bread involved in almost every Nicaraguan dish. "Caballo Vayo" is made with a tortilla which you wrap any ingredient as for example meat, chicken, avocado, crushed cheese, etc. "Rundown" is a stew made of cassava, breadfruit, green banana and other vegetables and fish in coconut sauce. 
"Wabul" is a delicious pure that is served warm and made of bananas and breadfruit mixed with coconut milk. 
The drink "Pinolillo", made of toasted corn and cocoa, is so popular that the Nicaraguans call themselves "Pinoleros". All kind of fruit juices are consumed daily and made of tropical fruits such as granadilla, pineapple, papaya, watermelon etc.

Copyright of this section Amigo Tours, Granada / Nicaragua; see www.amigotours.net 



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