Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas time in Costa Rica

December is probably the best time to visit Costa Rica.
There are parades and festivals of all kinds, two of the traditional parades are the Christmas parade and the horse parade which are held near the end of December, in recent years the Christmas parade had been replaced by the Parade of Lights organized by the Municipality of San José.
The Carnivals in Zapote and Palmares also attract huge crowds of people who go dancing, partying, beer drinking, and cruising around, they also have costarrican bull fights where many people gather in a rodeo style structure called el ¨redondel¨, many improvised bull fighters tease and get close to the bull, while the crowds laugh and scream every time the bulls catch or scares one of them, it is a dangerous sport and the red cross is always attending the improvised bull fighters that are caught and thrown up the air, very few have been killed.
At the end, the bulls never get hurt much less killed and it ends with a firework display.
People in Costa Rica celebrate the whole month of December and usually into January.
another traditional activity is the ¨avenidazo¨ which is the stroll along central avenue throwing confetti to others.
After people receive their ¨aguinaldos¨ which is the yearly Christmas bonus people start the serious Christmas shopping.
Costarricans become extra giving during the month of December and you will very likely see people and organizations collecting funds, toys and school supplies for underprivileged children in poor communities.

Tradition is a very important value that costarricans cherish, Christmas is more a religious holiday celebrated with a large Christmas dinner on the 24th of December where all the family gathers to exchange presents, see relatives that they may not have seen recently and share Tico tamales, Christmas cake,wine, coffee, beer, etc

New Years eve on the other hand is one big party, usually people gather in homes until midnight and then give each other a happy new year kiss, light up firecrackers, blow horns and dance, many have a lot of good luck belief which they do on December 31st, such as eating a dozen grapes at the stroke of midnight, start counting money for wealth, carry a suit case all around to travel during the year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.

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