Costa Rican Folklore

Find out the funniest and most important Costa Rican festivities and enjoy its charming traditions and folklore

Costa Rican Folklore
Costa Rican Folklore

The National Day of el Boyero (“oxherd” in English) is one of the most representative festivities in the country. It is celebrated in mid-March and was declared as world heritage by the UNESCO in 2005. Ox carts, which are made and specially decorated for oxes, were traditionally used to transport coffee. Since then, they have become an ornamental tradition. The March of Boyeros is celebrated in the streets of the capital and it is traditional that around three hundred carriages are exhibited during the parade.

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Los Diablitos Festival is one of the few indigenous festivities that are still celebrated in Costa Rica. It takes place the last week of February in the village of Boruca and consists of a representation of the fight between the indigenous people, who are called diablitos, and the Spaniards, represented by a bull. A colorful scene with masks, wooden costumes, dances and fireworks is recreated. There is also a fair with import and export products.

A national holiday called Juan Santamaría is celebrated every April honouring this national hero who was a soldier that fought in the Battle of Rivas against the troops of William Walker. Parades with student bands, concerts and dances are in the streets during all this week.

The Virgin of the Sea Day, which is celebrated on mid-June in the city of Puntarenas, consists of parades of vessels colorfully decorated in front of the beach that carry the patron virgin of this region. Puntarenas Carnival is hold the last week of February and, during that week, everything is full of parades and people have a lot of fun.

Costa Rica’s Independence Day is celebrated the 15th of September, the same day as in the rest of Central America. Relay runners bring the torch from Nicaragua the day before and take it to Cartago. When that happens, all the Costa Ricans stop their daily tasks and start singing the national anthem. Parades are performed and kids carry out lamp parades.

An indigenous festivity called Fiesta de los Negritos is also hold in the village of Boruca. It consists on the recreation of an ancient indigenous ritual with colorful costumes that honours the Lady of Conception.

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