Bartholomew Columbus founded the spanish settlement and named it La Isabela (August 5, 1496), after the Queen of Spain Isabella I. It was later renamed "Santo Domingo de Guzman", in honor of Domingo de Guzmán Garcés (1170 -- August 6, 1221) often called Saint Dominic who was the founder of the Friar Preachers, popularly called Dominican Order.
Thus after proclamation of independence on February 27, 1844 Juan Pablo Duarte appointed the new nation as "Dominican Republic" in honor of Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans.
Dominican Republic Holidays
January 1 - New Year's Day
January 6 - Epiphany
January 21 - Our Lady of Altagracia
January 26 - Duarte's Birthday (celebrated on the closest Monday)
February 27 - Independence Day
Late March/Early April - Good Friday/Easter (Semana Santa)
May 1 - Labor Day (celebrated on the closest Monday)
June - Corpus Christi Day
August 16 - Restoration Day (celebrated on the closest Monday)
September 24 - Our Lady of Mercedes
November 6 - Dominican Constitution Day (celebrated on the closest Monday)
December 25 - Christmas Day
The Dominican constitution guarantees freedom of religion. . Over 90% of the population is nominally Roman Catholic. . For most people religious practice is limited and formalistic. . Popular religious practices are far removed from Roman Catholic orthodoxy. . People respect the advice of their local priest, or their bishop, with regard to religious matters; however, they often reject the advice of clergy on other matters on the assumption that priests had little understanding of secular affairs
For breakfast, the locals like to eat tropical fruits like bananas, passion fruit, papaya, mangoes, pineapples, jagua and zapote. Breakfast is also never complete without their traditional mangu. With its savory taste, it serves as a perfect appetizer to start the day. This is prepared by mixing mashed plantains, taro and cassava, sometimes varying it a bit by adding squash called auyama. They add fried shallots, cheese, eggs or salami to add to its rich taste.