September 15th is the day Costa Rica celebrates Independence Day. Even though this is considered “Green season”, it is one of the best times to visit this country. Some luxury properties, such as
Villa #3, the Beach House, are discounted up to 50% at this time of year! Those travellers taking advantage of the great deals and discounts get the added bonus of witnessing Costa Rica’s most colourful celebration and display national pride.
In 1821, Costa Rica declared its independence from Spain, along with the rest of Central America, which had ruled the area since the 1500s. Although no war was fought to achieve independence, Costa Ricans are very proud of their “Dia de La Patria”, or “day of the fatherland”. Celebrations begin on the night before, with all the children on the country participating in the “Faroles”, or “lantern” festival on Sept 14th. The kids, with their families, parade through town just after dark, holding lanterns, often handmade, with some incredibly elaborate. A marching band or two usually accompanies the procession, giving everyone a little kick in their step as they stroll around the town.
The day of the 15th, or “quince” as it is known, is marked by parades all over the country, with school children marching under the beautiful blue sky. Yes, this day is invariably sunny and hot, so bring a hat and sun block! The kids display their precision routines, painstakingly practiced over the last several weeks, marching in unison in complicated patterns, dancing traditional dances and twirling batons. The sounds of the drums from the marching bands punctuates the day- the catchy rhythms and pounding beats make it impossible not to move your feet and hips! Red, white, and blue, the colours of the flag are everywhere; flags hang in every shop, patriotic bunting draped in every doorway. Little girls dressed up in their “tipica” outfits swirl their skirts and toss their beribboned hair, while others proudly bear the banners and flags of their schools. The overwhelming community spirit and national pride make it a day visitors will never forget!