The city of Loíza is located on north east Porto Rico. It holds, every year in July, a colorful festival that is dedicated to Saint James the Apostle (Fiesta de Santiago Apóstol), the city’s patron and defender.
The religious fiesta that takes place for more than 400 years, combines local and folklore fascinating traditions.
The climax of the festival is a parade that mixes religious and folklore tradition. A statue of the saint is carried to a myth cork tree that according to tradition it is the tree where the saint was seen hundreds years ago.
In addition, people who are disguised as knights and demons with rays march in the parade. The participants wear Porto Rico unique colored coconut-shell vejigante masks, to show than Saint James the Apostle will destroy the demons and bring good instead of evil.
The parade is accompanied by bands that play Porto Rico unique music, BOMBA music, which causes the crowd to jump and dance.
The festival holds three main parades: Santiago men parade, Santiago women parade and Santiago children parade.