|December 14, 2017||No Comments|
As 2017 comes to an end we all begin to look forward to the Christmas season. Whether you are an ex-pat, a resident or a local Tico December is the season to celebrate family, friends and a New Year with a fresh start. Here are some things to consider when living in Costa Rica for the holidays.
First and foremost if you own a car in Costa Rica, you are going to want to make sure that you have paid your annual road taxes otherwise known as “Marchamos”. If it is not up to date, you could be in danger of losing your car. Many establishments such as the Post Office or Correo will process your payment for you. Contact Summerland Relocation Services for details or even better, to have them process Marchamos for you!
Because Costa Rica is primarily a Catholic nation, Christmas is focused on the birth of Christ. A walk through any town and you will find a selection of mangers ready for purchase. In our Southern Zone city San Isidro, you can purchase a plastic set of the Holy Family which you will find among all the other toys in the upper section of the popular store Bogantes (known for their plastics).
Are you considering giving a gift to a child? Wait until after Jesus has been placed in the crib of the manger on Christmas Eve. On the gift tag, be sure to place your own name in the from field and NOT Santa’s. Santa doesn’t really exist in Costa Rica. All the children are taught that their gifts come either from their family or from the baby Jesus Himself.
When it comes to food there is an overwhelming demand for Tamales. This is the time of year that just about every Costa Rican household makes them and often in large quantities to last them through New Year’s celebrations and beyond. Don’t be surprised if a neighbor greets you with a stack of 2 or 3 Tamales. They are a delicious boca consisting of “masa” or dough stuffed with all different types of meats and vegetables. They are presented in banana leaves.
In the Southern Zone there is usually a great Christmas Parade the first weekend of December. Horses from all the local Cantons gather in the center of town and there is a festival of lights that is celebrated. It is a great way to kick off the season, socialize with the locals and experience some Costa Rican culture.
The Christmas season will go through to January 6th when it is believed that the three kings visited Jesus in the manger. Students do not go back to school until February so expect to see little ones enjoying the summer holidays. New Year’s Eve is usually very low key. There are not too many establishments that you will find open, but you will see families gathering together in their homes and there is often wonderful fireworks displays throughout the various cantons.
However you celebrate and wherever you find yourself in Costa Rica during the holiday season, you can be sure to experience a very laid back and festive couple of weeks. The Costa Rican culture is one which tends to embody the traditional meaning of Christmas all year round, Christmas week and New Year’s are just another excuse for eating, getting together with family and friends and celebrating life or … Pura Vida.