Independence Day in Costa Rica was today and many festivities were going on in the country and the rest of Central America. Costa Ricans celebrate with music, parades and lots of drums!
September 15, 2013 will mark their 192nd year of independence from Spain and it is a very important event in the country’s history.
On the night of Sept. 14th is a traditional lantern parade to symbolize what one woman did for the independence of Central America. All the kids bring out their homemade lanterns with the Costa Rican flag, animals and other shapes.
They usually sing the anthem at the high school and then set off from there around sunset, walking throughout town. We went to the parade in Coco with some friends, walked around and watched the kids.
Since Coco is a pretty small town, it was only a few kilometer walk to the beach and back to the high school but there was a fairly huge crowd! We saw some pretty creative lanterns from butterflies and houses.
Parade in Liberia
In Liberia there is a big parade on the morning of the 15th and in San Jose, an even bigger parade. All the kids in school, from kindergarten through high school perform dances, play instruments and show off their costumes to commemorate this meaningful holiday.
Many of them wear traditional clothing and are dressed in red, blue and white. Guatemala was the first country to actually proclaim independence from Spain for all the rest of Central America. Costa Rica found out the news a month or so later since they had to send the declaration the old school way – by foot.
Then the declaration had to go all the way to Panama so they have a tradition running a torch from Guatemala to Panama every year to symbolize the delivery of independence.
We went to the parade and saw some adorable kids dancing, drumming and cheering. They closed down the main street in Liberia for a couple hours and although it was a hot day, all the kids kept marching and smiling. So many cute babies!
Independence Day in Costa Rica
Video of the parade
Read more about Costa Rican culture here!