Costa Rica Independence Day

Costa Rica Celebrations and Holidays

Costa Rica Independence Day

Take a look into the vibrant heart of Costa Rica, where every month has unique celebrations! From the solemn processions of Easter Week to the infectious beats of Mardi Gras, Costa Rica offers a smorgasbord of cultural experiences.

Whether you crave the spiritual serenity of Virgin of Los Angeles Day or the festive spirit of Independence Day, there’s a Costa Rican holiday waiting for you no matter what month you travel here.

So, pack your dancing shoes, brush up on your Spanish, and get ready to immerse yourself in a year-round calendar full of tradition, joy, and unforgettable memories!


  • New Year’s Day (January 1): A universal celebration marking the beginning of the new year. Families and friends gather for parties and feasts, reflecting on the past year and welcoming the new one.
  • Dia de Santo Cristo de Esquipulas (January 15): A religious festival dedicated to the Black Christ of Esquipulas, with pilgrimages, prayers, and processions.


  • Valentine’s Day (February 14): Known as “Dia del Amor y la Amistad” (Day of Love and Friendship), it’s a day for expressing love and appreciation to friends and family.
  • Fiesta de los Negritos y las Cimarronas (February 2): A vibrant celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture in Puntarenas, featuring music, dance, and traditional costumes.
  • Mardi Gras in Playa Esterillos (February 18): A lively beach party with music, costumes, and food inspired by the New Orleans celebration


  • Holy Week (Semana Santa): Dates vary each year. This deeply religious week includes processions, reenactments of the Passion of Christ, and is a time of reflection and prayer. Most businesses close during this period.
  • International Envision Festival (March 4-11): A gathering of yoga, music, and wellness enthusiasts in Nosara.
  • Day of the Oxcart Driver (Second Sunday of March): A colorful parade showcasing beautifully decorated oxcarts in San José.
  • Saint Joseph’s Day (March 19): A religious holiday celebrated with church services and family gatherings.
  • Juan Santamaría Day (April 11): A national holiday honoring a young hero who defended Costa Rica against invaders.


  • Labor Day (May 1): A day to honor and celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Parades and peaceful demonstrations often occur in major cities.


  • Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Day (June 29): A religious holiday celebrated with traditional foods and festivities
  • Father’s Day (Third Sunday of June): A day to celebrate fathers, with families spending time together and exchanging gifts.


  • Guanacaste Day (July 25): Celebrates the annexation of the province of Guanacaste from Nicaragua in 1824. Festivities include folk dancing, bullfights, and traditional music.


  • Virgin of Los Angeles Day (August 2): Honors Costa Rica’s patron saint, La Negrita. Pilgrims from all over travel to the Basilica in Cartago to pay respects.
  • Mother’s Day (August 15): A significant day in Costa Rica, Mother’s Day is celebrated with much affection. Families gather to honor and express gratitude to their mothers.


  • Independence Day (September 15): Marks Costa Rica’s independence from Spain in 1821. The day is filled with parades, music, dancing, and traditional foods.
  • Day of the Child (September 9): A day to celebrate children, with special events and activities organized throughout the country


  • Dia de la Raza (October 12): Known as Columbus Day in other countries, it celebrates the cultural heritage and diversity resulting from the encounter between Europe and the Americas.
  • Halloween (October 31): Becoming increasingly popular in Costa Rica, with costume parties and trick-or-treating events.


  • All Souls’ Day (November 2): A day to remember deceased loved ones, with families visiting cemeteries and decorating graves.


  • Military Armed Forces Abolition Day (December 1): A national holiday commemorating the abolition of the Costa Rican military in 1948.
  • Christmas (December 25): A deeply religious and family-oriented holiday, celebrated with midnight masses (Misa de Gallo), festive decorations, and traditional meals.
  • Festival of Lights (Early December): A spectacular parade of lights, floats, and music in the capital city of San Jose.
  • Tope Nacional (Late December): A famous horse parade showcasing Costa Rica’s finest horses and riders.
  • New Year’s Eve (December 31): Festivities include parties, fireworks, and family gatherings to bid farewell to the year.

Throughout the year, Costa Rica’s holidays reflect a blend of its rich cultural history, religious traditions, and modern celebrations. These festivities not only offer a glimpse into the nation’s soul but also provide a colorful and vibrant experience for anyone fortunate enough to participate.