Happy Labor Day from Costa Rica; What and When to Celebrate While Living Here by Constance Monroe - SRS-CR: Summerland Relocation Services

September 2, 2017 No Comments

Happy Labor Day from Costa Rica; What and When to Celebrate While Living Here by Constance Monroe


Posted by Constance Monroe in Entertainment, Informational

For Americans living in Costa Rica this Labor Day weekend is rather underwhelming since it is not celebrated at this time of year here. Costa Rica celebrates their “Workers Day” (or Labor Day) on May 1st; as do many other countries.  Like the holiday in the U.S., it is a national holiday and many businesses are closed. As with other holiday comparisons those in Costa Rica are far less commercialized than in the United States. Sales will still be offered in certain stores, but there is an obvious sense that things are closed; at least this is true in the Southern Zone where I live in Perez Zeledon. I am about 7 minutes to San Isidro which is the 8th largest city in all of Costa Rica.

This year May 1st fell on a Monday which meant a long weekend for most people. My partner Martin and I planned on going to the beach despite one of our gringo friends saying “good luck with that”. As in the U.S., people flock to the beaches. We have been living in Costa Rica for quite a while now, but this is our first year where we have stayed the entire year and therefore we have been experiencing all of the different holidays. We’ve always ventured out regardless of the holiday. However once we approached our half way mark to the beach and sat in traffic that didn’t move for a solid 10 minutes, we knew our friend was serious about what she said. We turned around and went to our friend’s pool instead.

Here are the other national holidays celebrated in Costa Rica; good to know as many stores and other establishments are often closed on these days:

(Note: actual dates may vary by year depending on holiday; many are the exact date regardless of the day of the week. Shown here are the dates celebrated in 2017.)

January 1st, New Year’s Day – Same all over the world.

Aprill 11th, Juan Santa Maria Day – In recognition of Juan Santa Maria, the country’s national hero. He was responsible for making the Second Battle of Rivas successful during the attempt by U.S. filibuster William Walker to conquer all of Central America.

April 13th, Holy Thursday – The Thursday prior to Easter Sunday. This is also a Catholic holiday and is recognized as a nation holiday in Costa Rica as the country is largely Catholic. The church remembers the day that Jesus celebrated the last supper with his disciples.

April 14th, Good Friday – The Friday prior to Easter Sunday. On this national holiday the country is remembering the day that Christ died.

May 1st, Labor Day – Same as that in the U.S.

July 25th, Guanacaste Day – Celebrates the annexation of Guanacaste from Nicaragua and in turn becoming part of Costa Rica.

August 2nd, Virgin of Los Angeles Day – Celebrates the patron saint of the country; Virgen of Los Angeles or “La Negrita”. The representation of this saint was found in 1635 by a native woman. La Negrita was made that nation’s saint in 1824.

August 15th, Mother’s Day (Assumption of Mary) – Another Catholic based holiday, this day celebrates all mothers by declaring it Mother’s Day while at the same time commemorating the Catholic Church belief that the Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven at the end of her life.

September 15th, Independence Day – While Costa Rica never fought for independence from Spain, they were made independent along with all of the other Central American countries after the final Spanish defeat in the Mexican war of Independence on September 15th, 1821.

October 16th, Cultures National Day – Commemorates the date when Columbus first entered the Americas and is typically a celebration of the variation of cultures between Americans and Europeans.

December 25th, Christmas Day – Celebration of the birth of Christ.

Take special note of the upcoming Independence Day on September 15th as well as Cultures Day on October 16th. There are sure to be some festivities to take part in or events that might be worth going to. Either way enjoy and remember, you can always check in with Summerland Relocation Services for useful information living as an ex-pat in Costa Rica. Email us here.


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