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The major allure of visiting Costa Rica involves in either taking part in or watching some of the famous festivals in the region. Though a strongly Catholic city, Costa Rica still holds on to some traditions which is why these festivals are popular to date.
Fiestas de Palmares
This is arguably the most anticipated festival in Costa Rica. Slated within the first two weeks of January, the festivity is marked with music concerts, fireworks, rodeos, sporting competitions and a fairground. Fiestas de Palmares, lasts two weeks and over one million people from all over the country as well as tourists attend. Experience this spectacle and you will never forget it!
Also scheduled for January, this is a rodeo festival held in the capital city. Only the fiercest bulls from around the country are chosen to participate, and entire blocks closed off to accommodate the festival. Theme park rides, photo booths, outdoor restaurants and other activities are organized as well. You will definitely have your hands full when you attend Fiestas Zapote.
Similar to Brazil’s Carneval, the Limon carnival also features elaborate costumes and floats parading along the main streets in the city center. It’s not as densely populated as the Brazilian Carneval, though just as elaborate. The festival showcases the country’s vibe, culture and the festive nature of the Costa Rican people.
This is essentially a hippy extravaganza where music, art and cuisine are celebrated. The festival is organized on a campsite. Various music and art performances are slated during the event. Attendants can also participate in yoga, the sacred movement and indulge in crunchy food. The hallmark of the festival is covering yourself in a lot of glitter. Expect to dance a lot and mingle with interesting thinkers during this four-day event.
Fiestas de los Diablitos
This translates to “Festival of the Little Devils”. The event is usually organized by the Rey Curre and Boruca, indigenous communities in the country. Fiestas de los Diablitos involves wearing masks and costumes meant to represent ancestral spirits. A reenactment of victory against invading Spanish conquistadors is performed through the medium of dance. Chicha, a fermented corn drink, is consumed in large quantities during the event. Fiestas de los Diablitos is held in December and February each year.
Fiesta Patronal de Santo Cristo
This religious festival is celebrated in Santa Cruz. Meant to demonstrate allegiance to God, the festival involves dancing, rodeos and ox cart parades. The festival honors Santo Cristo de Esquipulas. Being a religious festival in a highly Catholic country, tens of thousands of spectators and performers attend this two-day event.
El Dia del Boyero
Also known as the Oxcart Drivers’ Day, its main attraction is the parade of the decorated ox carts. These are blessed by a priest, as are the crops and animals in the parade. The ox cart decorations are taken seriously and only done by highly skillful artists. Common decoration themes include star patterns, the sun and flowers. It’s a colorful festival which you have to see to believe it!
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