Every year on July 25th, Costa Rica celebrates the joining together and annexation of the Guanacaste province in 1824. Perhaps the largest and one of the most important national celebrations, this event lasts for the whole week leading up to July 25th and often continues for days after.
When Guanacaste was annexed from Nicaragua, Costa Rica’s history took a significant turn for the better. The natives of Guanacaste believed in Costa Rica’s values and beliefs more so than other nations and believed that it would hold a better future. Ever since, Costa Rica has celebrated this annexation as a triumph.
Throughout the country, there are celebrations planned in all cities and towns. Numerous parades take place with traditional dance performances for the entire week leading up to July 25th for the entire nation to rejoice, lining the roads and streets to the parks and around public schools.
An important tradition, especially throughout the Nicoya Peninsula, is hosting ceremonial rodeos. The celebration with the bulls involves young and unarmed men chasing bulls around for a few moments; this style of bullfighting is more humane and purely for entertainment. Bulls are not harmed during the events.
Costa Rica’s streets will be lined with craft stalls featuring beautiful traditional handicrafts and delicious Costa Rican foods, among which are popular favorites such as tamales, chimichurri, ceviche with tortilla chips, arroz con leche, or ensalada de frutas — fruit salads with tropical fruits such as bananas, papaya, and maracuya — and many more.
Travelers who are visiting from abroad luck out when traveling during this time as there are numerous fun and educational opportunities weaved throughout the celebration. Beyond the many chances of learning the important history behind Guanacaste Day, visitors will learn so much about Costa Rica’s beautiful culture and what makes it unique. Two traditions are the music, typically featuring the marimba as the national instrument, is played all throughout every festival, along with dancing and traditional costumes. Visitors will be able to watch and perhaps learn traditional dances, and all of the individual vendors lining the roads sell their own crafts while teaching the valuable history behind each piece.
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