Christmas in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country located in Central America. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Christmas in Costa Rica

Christmas Celebrations in Costa Rica :

During Christmas in Costa Rica, people decorate their houses with tropical flowers. A model of the nativity scene, called the Pasito or Portal, is the center of the display. It’s also decorated with flowers and sometimes fruit. Some of the scene take a long time to make and all the family is involved. As well as the traditional figures, people add other models including houses and lots of different sorts of animals.

Christmas Celebrations in Costa Rica

Christmas wreaths are made of cypress branches and are decorated with red coffee berries and ribbons. Most homes, shops and important buildings are decorated with Christmas lights. In Costa Rica, the gift bringer is often ‘Niño dios’ (Child God, meaning Jesus) or ‘Colacho’ (another name for St. Nicholas). On Christmas Eve, everyone puts on their best clothes and goes to Midnight Mass. In Costa Rica it’s called the ‘Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Rooster). It normal includes chicken and pork tamales that have been wrapped for cooking in plantain leaves. To drink there’s lots of egg nog and rum punch!

Festival de la Luz in San Jose, Costa Rica

The Christmas celebrations in capital city of the country, San Jose take place along with the Fiesta de la Luz (The Festival of Light) which takes place on 26th December and includes parades with floats, masquerades, live music and fireworks.

Christmas Navidad is celebrated with so many festivals, parades, and Puerto Rican Christmas traditions. They have three main parades after the beginning of the Christmas season on Dec. 16th – El Carnival, El Tope and El Destile de Luces.

Another most popular activity is “Zapote” – a special area designated to make an improvised amusement park with amusement games and a lot of “chinamos” that are improvised stands that sell all kind of food. The most anticipated activity is the “Zapote Bullfights” or “Toros a la Tica” synonymous with the season’s festivities in Costa Rica. The Costarican Bullfight is very different because the bulls are never harmed, or killed.

After Christmas, and into January, there are lots of fiestas, parades, rodeos, street parties, bull runs and choral and dance festivals. On 26th December (Boxing Day) there is an important horseback parade called the Tope. On the next day (27th), many towns and cities have ‘Carnaval’ with a big parade featuring dancing and big floats.

Although Christmas is celebrated in all parts of the country, the celebrations are grand in the Capital City of San José. Other cities which have notable Christmas Celebrations include Limón, Alajuela, San Francisco, Cinco Esquinas, Desamparados, Liberia, Puntarenas, San Vicente, Barranca, Curridabat, Paraíso, etc.

Infact we can say that entire month of December is month of festivals -

  • Fiesta de los Negritos - Celebrated on December 8.
  • Fiesta de la Yegüita - Held on December 12.
  • Los Posados - Held on December 15.
  • Tope Nacional de Caballos - Held on Boxing Day, 26 December, in San José
  • Fiesta de la Luz - Heldo on 26th in San José with a Christmas tree parade at night and fireworks.
  • Carnaval Nacional - Held on December 27 in San José
  • Fiesta de Zapote - Held in the suburb of Zapote in late December for the fairground, fireworks and rodeo performances
  • Fiesta de los Diablitos - Held from December 31 to January 2 over the New Year by the Boruca.

Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!