How to Celebrate Costa Rica’s Independence Day
“The more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, toward others as well as ourselves.”
– Oscar Arias Sánchez, Costa Rican and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
In Costa Rica, our freedom means many things to us. It means loving and taking care of our family above all others. It’s a peaceful sharing of our culture and our land with those who wish to visit. It’s living a simple life or, as we say, “pura vida.” Yet, at the same time, it’s also celebrating all things that make us who we are, and doing so in a big way. One such celebration takes place on September 15th. This is Costa Rica’s Independence Day.
The History of Independence Day in Costa Rica
On this day in 1821, a Guatemalan council drew up the Act of Independence of Central America. The document declared the freedom of the Central American countries, including Costa Rica, from Spain’s control of more than three centuries. While much work was still needed to gain complete independence, it was a huge turning point. And so, September 15th marks the day Costa Rican officials began to consider the country’s independent path.
This makes Costa Rica’s Independence Day one of the country’s most important holidays. It symbolizes all that Costa Rica is now – a peaceful home to almost five million people, living pura vida. It’s also a beloved vacation destination to millions, specifically almost three million in 2016! So, we celebrate our Independence Day – big – every year all over our wonderful country.
3 Ways to Celebrate Costa Rica’s Independence Day
If you’ll visit Costa Rica this Independence Day, you’ll quickly see how proud we are of our freedom. You, too, can get into our culture, help us celebrate and make your own memories in these three ways.
On the 14th. Our celebration is so big, we actually kick off Independence Day festivities the day before the holiday, on the 14th. This is with the Freedom Torch, which travels throughout Central America by relay runners. Its end destination is Costa Rica’s former capital, Cartago City, from Nicaragua. And, our residents line the streets to celebrate its arrival and to sing the country’s national anthem together. This includes children, who follow these events with a ‘faroles’ parade. This means they carry lanterns throughout the streets, while wearing costumes and performing dances. Then, let the fireworks begin!
With a parade. For our people, there’s no grander way to commemorate Costa Rica’s Independence Day than with a parade. In Quepos, for example, the gateway to the Manuel Antonio National Park, visitors can see a grand display of patriotism with children donning bright, beautiful outfits amid festive floats and marching bands. These events will take place nationwide, including the province of Guanacaste, which also celebrates its official joining of Costa Rica every July. No matter where you are, just be sure to wear your blue, white and red in support of all the Costa Rican flags you’ll see proudly raised!
At a street party. Our celebrations in Costa Rica know no boundaries. They may start days before a holiday and last days after its end. But, one thing is for certain. You can always count on a good street party. This means you can usually plan on music and dancing in the streets and more than anything, you can also count on a wonderful meal. Our Costa Rican cuisine will be for sale along the streets and will include tamales, beans and rice, fried plantains and more. In Quepos-Manuel Antonio there will be streeet parties and a live salsa band at the Marina Pez Vela. Come hungry and with your dancing shoes on!
Other Independence Day celebrations may be happening, depending on your Costa Rica vacation. The best way to find out is to ask your local vacation rental manager. He or she will have insider information on the best events in your town, as well as those surrounding, to help you enjoy our freedom and yours.
The team at Costa Rica First Class Villas welcomes the opportunity to help you enjoy the freedom and excitement of our country. Contact us to plan the Costa Rica vacation of a lifetime.