We have created the following list with the National Holidays of Costa Rica; this will come in handy if you are planning on visiting Costa Rica and would like to find out if there is a special celebration due during your stay or if you already live here and would like to know more about a specific holiday. Usually the more important ones are celebrated with parades and traditional masquerades like the Independence Day. Costa Rica often celebrates these dates and most commerce and businesses take the day off to attend. Remember that Costa Rica is a Catholic country and a lot of our holidays are religious related. These are Costa Ricaís main holidays:
January 1st: New Yearís Day, celebrated with a big dance in San Joseís Parque Central. This is a day off for most offices and shopping centers.
March 19th: St. Josephís Day, patron saint of the San Jose province. No special celebration, business open like in any regular day. Special religious services in the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Easter: Known as Semana Santa. It will always be on the last week of March and beginning of April. Commemorates the passion of Jesus Christ. Special religious services every where in the country. Businesses are open on regular schedule from Monday thru Wednesday, some open only half a day on Thursday. Everything will be close on Friday and will start business gradually starting Saturday.
April 11th: Juan Santamaria Day. Honors the national hero who died defeating the enemy William Walker and the filibusters in the Rivas battle in 1856. School kids act plays a have small parades.
May 1st: Labor Day. Dia de los Trabajadores. Day off for most businesses and commerce.
July 25th: Guanacaste Day. Celebration of the annexation of Guanacaste to Costa Rica in 1824. Day off in most businesses, Schools have parades and there are activities in mayor parks, especially in Guanacaste.
August 2nd: Virgen de Los Angeles Day. Patron saint of Costa Rica. This is one of the most important religious celebrations. This is a day off all over the country. The main activity is the Romeria: people from all over the country WALK to the Basilica (the Virginís Church) in Cartago to pay promises or make pleas to the Virgin Mary and get Holy water to take home and share with the loved ones.
August 15th: Motherís Day. Celebrates Mothers and the rise of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. This is a day off so people can spend it with their mothers and have the celebration a Mother deserves.
September 15th: Independence Day in Costa Rica. Celebrations start the day before in the evening with a parade of homemade lanterns representing the day the news arrive at night in Costa Rica. Big patriotic parades celebrate Costa Ricaís independence from Spain in 1821.
October 12th: Dia de la Raza (Columbus Day). Limon province marks the celebration with a huge carnival, which takes place in the week prior to October 12. Day off in some business.
November 2nd: All soulís Day. Commemorates loved ones that have past away. People go to pay respects to Cemeteries and special religious services are held. Businesses are open on regular schedules.
December 25th: Christmas Day. Family-oriented celebrations. Celebrations all over the world. Special religious services. Day off in all businesses and commerce.
Remember that if you happen to be in the country during any of these holidays we will love it if you attend our celebrations and take with you a nice traditional memory of our culture.