With the season in full swing many people will be traveling to Costa Rica to spend their Christmas Holiday. Keeping true to Costa Rican culture, this country is rich in tradition and full of things to do as it celebrates family and the season with lights, food, and festivals. From traditional dinners on “Noche Buena”, also known as Christmas Eve, to the Festival de la Luz in San Jose, if you’re traveling to Costa Rica this Christmas you’ll find plenty of ways to make your Costa Rica Christmas unforgettable.
A primarily Catholic country, Costa Rica celebrates Christmas with exuberance. Events are held across the nation to celebrate this special holiday. Known as the largest parade of the year, Festival de la Luz fills the streets of San Jose with floats, performers, and marching bands as the capital of Costa Rica is immersed with people and lights. Further north in Guanacaste, the town of Nosara has started its own traditions and hosts the annual Nosara Christmas Cultural Festival. Resorts like Los Suenos Resort and Marina and Hacienda Pinilla offer one-of-a-kind family experiences to make your Christmas Vacation in Costa Rica extra special. Teatro de Jaco also features its own rendition of the holiday classic “A Christmas Carol” with a Latin American twist.
Trim the Cypress Tree for a Costa Rica Christmas Rich in Tradition
If you’re looking to make your own traditions this Christmas, Costa Rica blends food and family with traditions similar to those in most other countries, but in Costa Rica you can celebrate the season even longer, as Christmas in Costa Rica doesn’t end until January 6th, the date the wise men are said to have visited baby Jesus.
One tradition Costa Ricans embrace is the Christmas tree. A very important symbol of Christmas to Costa Ricans, fragrant cypress trees are often decorated with ornaments and lights. One of the most important trees in all of Costa Rica is the Christmas tree in front of the Children’s Hospital in San Jose – representing thankfulness and hope for the coming year and providing a light of hope for all the children inside.
Christmas Eve, or Noche Buenas, in Costa Rica is celebrated with a traditional dinner of handmade tamales and pork and gifts are brought by Baby Jesus, instead of Santa, as the children lay fast asleep. Christmas day is filled with prayer, thanksgiving and gift opening and midnight mass is held on the evening of the 25th. La Misa del Gallo, as the mass is called, is a beautiful service attended by religious Costa Ricans.
So why many of you are looking forward to spending your Christmas on one of the beautiful Costa Rica beaches, you’ll also find plenty of things to do to keep the Christmas spirit alive. From festivals and food to lights and gifts be sure to include some of Costa Rica’s charming traditions in your Christmas Holiday.