Costa Rica Festivals and Celebrations
Festival de la Luz
The Festival de la Luz is a week long festival marked by an extravagant parade with bands, floats, dancers, and incredible fiesta costumes down San Jose's main street, Paseo Colon. The week long event includes daily light displays, concerts, and fireworks.
Fiesta Patronale Pavas
The Fiesta Patronale Pavas is a street festival that celebrates local culture. It is marked with music, dancing, traditional food and Costa Rican bullfights (where the only blood shed is occasionally a Tico).
Fiesta de los Negritos
The Fiesta de los Negritos and the Immaculate Conception used to be a National Holiday and is celebrated by Catholics around the country with Catholic masses, processions, and dancing.
Fiesta de la Yeguita
IIn Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rican style bullfights and a parade precede a town party in the central park that is filled with food, music, and fireworks.
Christmas Week and Christmas Day
Even though the week before Christmas is not a National Holiday, it is treated as one. Most businesses are closed from Wednesday on (many all week) and Ticos flock to the beaches for vacations.
Misa de Gallo
The Misa de Gallo, or the Mass of the Rooster, is celebrated around the country as midnight mass on Christmas Eve. It is often followed by private parties. Christmas day is a family day where most Ticos go to mass and spend the day at family gatherings.
Fiesta de Zapote
On Christmas Day in Zapote, a small town just north, San Jose Las Fiestas de Zapote. This is a crazy week where at the fairgrounds in Zapote local participate in one of Costa Rica's favorite pastimes, "their version of running with the bulls". People pay to enter a ring the a bull is released. people try to touch the bull and taunt and tease him to get him angry. They run by, trying to get as close as they can. The bull chases participants and occasionally tosses one high into the air. Each year participants are injured, sometimes badly but the bulls are never harmed.
The fairgrounds is also full of rides, and food venders with traditional food, and treats such as churros and cotton candy. Live music of different types, traditional music and dance, and games can be enjoyed every night.
A tope is a beautiful parade of magnificent horses of the breed Criollo and on the 26th of December The Tope Caballos takes place in downtown San Jose. It is a great opportunity to see Costa Rica's horsemanship at it's best.