What Are Some Traditions of El Salvador?

Mario Pleitez/CC-BY 2.0

Some traditions of El Salvador include displaying fireworks during Christmas, devoting nine nights of prayer for the souls of the dead and using traditional medicine for folk illnesses. These customs are deeply rooted in most Salvadorans.

El Salvador is a society that holds onto a traditional machismo attitude, in which females stay home and tend to household chores, while men go to work and support the family. However, those roles are challenged by women who seek employment.

Many marriages are informal, meaning a couple starts a household and bypasses a church service. This is a legally-recognized union. Unions that involve a religious ceremony are also legally-recognized; however, they are typically considered permanent bonds. Roughly 75 percent of Salvadorans consider themselves Roman Catholic, and the Church traditionally frowns upon divorce.

While modern medicine has a place in El Salvador, traditional healers also maintain a role in society, along with folk illnesses. For example, traditional Salvadoran beliefs imply that babies suffering from a fever might also be suffering from “evil eye,” a condition that is only resolved when the person responsible for passing on the evil eye chews herbs and applies the resulting liquid on the baby.