National Holidays Días Feriados are taken seriously in Costa Rica
Banks, public offices, and many stores close. Many buses don't run the Thursday afternoon and Friday before Easter and many businesses are closed for the entire week before Easter. From Thursday to Easter Sunday all Bars are locked and alcohol sales are prohibited. Beach and other hotels are usually booked weeks ahead of this week, though a limited choice of rooms if often available. Public transportation tends to be tight on all holidays and the days immediately preceding. of following them, so book well ahead of time.
The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is an unofficial holiday, especially in San José. In addition various towns have their celebrations for their own particular day. these other holidays and special events are not official public holidays, and banks etc, remain open (except in the town with the fiesta). All of the official national holidays, plus the most important other events are listed below.
New Year's Day
The 1st of January. Fiesta de Santa Cruz
Mid January; this town on the Peninsula Nicoya features a religious procession, rodeo, bullfight, music and dancing.
Fiesta de los Diablitos
Dates vary; one of the few indigenous festivals, it features masked dancing held on the Reserva Indígena Boruca near Curré.
Día del Boyero
Second Sunday; in honour of oxcart drivers, this festival held in Escazú features a colourful ox-cart parade and associated events. Día de San José (St Joseph's Day
The 19th; honours the patron saint of the capital; a former national holiday. Semana Santa (Holy Week)
March or April; the Thursday and Friday before Easter are both national public holidays when everything stops nationwide.
Día de Juan Santanamía
The 11th; honours the national hero who fought at the Battle of Rivas against William Walker in 1856. Mayor events (dances, parades, etc.) are held in Alajuela, his hometown.
Teh 1st; especially colourful around Puerto Limón, where there are dances and cricket matches.
Día de San Pedro & San Pablo
The 29th; a former national holiday; some religious processions are held in villages of those names.
Fiesta de La Virgen del Mar
Mid July; held on Puntarenas and Playas del Coco, with a colourful regatta and boat parade in addition to many land based festivities. Día de Guanacaste
The 25th; the annexation of Guanacaste Province, which was former part of Nicaragua, is celebrated with a nationwide holiday and many events in Guanacaste towns.
Virgen de Los Angeles
The 2nd; The patron saint of Costa Rica is celebrated with a particularly important religious parade from San José to Cartago. Día de la Madre (Mother's Day)
The 15th; coincides with the annual Catholic feast of the Assumption.
Street parades and children march in the evening with lit lanterns.
Día de la Raza
The 12th; the local name for Columbus Day (discovery of the Americas) celebrated especially near Puerto Limón with a carnival-like fiesta.
Día de los Muertos (All Souls' Day)
The 2nd; celebrated as in most of Latin America with family visits to graveyards and religious parades.
The 8th; a former national holiday. Christmas Day
The 25th; the 24th is often an unofficial holiday as well. Last Week in December
The 25th to the 31st is a non-stop holiday in San José, with bullfights, equestrian processions and events, and a dance on New Year's Eve.
Text and pictures by Jörn Malek. The team of 1-CostaRicaLink wishes you the best of times in our little paradise called Costa Rica.
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