This year, Costa Rica celebrates its 196th year of independence from Spain on Sept. 15. The country shares its independence day with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. All over the country from Manuel Antonio to San Jose to Limon people will be celebrating in there own way.
Costa Rica finally became a completely independent nation in 1838, when it separated from the Central American Republic.
It’s a national holiday
Sept. 15 is a national holiday and businesses, banks and government institutions will be closed. Since it is a national holiday and this year with it falling on a Friday, most people will take advantage of the long weekend for a vacation.
School marching bands, color guards and folkloric dancers parade through nearly every town on the morning of Sept. 15. Schoolchildren practice for several months in preparation. Traditional foods are usually sold by street vendors. You will enjoy the colorful outfits and traditional music.
Costa Rica traditional clothing for men is usually white cotton pants and a white button-up shirt with a red sash belt, a red handkerchief tied at the neck, and a straw hat. Women wear long, flowing, vivid multi-colored skirts in layers, with a white, ruffled, sleeveless blouse (usually embroidered or with ribbons), a choker band necklace, and their hair pulled up in complicated braids or a bun and decorated with a big flower.
There have been eight versions of Costa Rica’s flag since it was first created in 1823. The current version has been in place since 1964.
Starting on the 9th of September in Guatemala people light the “Independence Torch” and then by foot carry it through Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and ending in Cartago, Costa Rica on the 14th, the eve of Independence Day. The torch has now become an important national symbol for Costa Ricans.
On this day Costa Ricans break out all kinds of their famous cuisines including Gallo Pinto, Empanadas, and Tamales alongside there favorite national beers Imperial and Pilsen or some settle for coffee or Aqua Dulce.
Whatever you are doing on this day next year you may want to come to visit on your next vacation for this one of a kind experience of culture.