Festivals and Cultural Events in Costa Rica

Festivals and Cultural Events in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country in Central America with a population of nearly five million. The capital city of San Jose is the largest city of the country where more than a quarter of the population lives. The first European explorer to encounter Costa Rica was the great Navigator Christopher Columbus. He reached the eastern coast of Costa Rica on the fourth voyage on September 18, 1502. Later, numerous subsequent Spanish expeditions have been organised.

Festivals and cultural events of Costa Rica reflect the various national ideologies and emotions of the population and show the cultural diversity and mix of nations. The Ticos, this is how Costa Ricans are calling themselves, love to celebrate and dance, so here are the greatest festivals and cultural events in Costa Rica.

Saints Day of Santa Cruz

All week starting on January 15, the people in Costa Rica celebrate the Saints Day of Santa Cruz. It is a homage to Christ of Esquipulas, the patron saint of Santa Cruz. It is a day full of dance, music, marimbas, and bloodless bullfights.

Copa del Café

This tennis tournament takes a place in January in the Costa Rica Country Club in San Jose where all participants are under 18 years old. The Copa del Café is one of the best junior tennis tournaments, and it is played by the best ranked junior players in the world. The Coffee Bowl is part of a junior circuit backed by the International Tennis Federation and supported by the tennis federations of many other countries where tennis is a top sport.

Copa del Café
Copa del Café

The International Festival of Arts

Since 1992, the International Festival of Arts is celebrated in March and it is organised by the Department of Culture & Youth of Costa Rica. The world’s leading artists and local performers meet every two years in San José and several locations all over the country. Exhibitions, music shows, workshops, food, and performances are held in local parks, theatres, or churches. The festival is popular among  adults and children, while the night-time festivals are geared more towards an older audience.

San Jose-Zapote Fair

In December, the marketplace of Zapote is transformed in a fairground with funfair rides, Ferris wheels, snack stalls, local specialities, and fireworks. Zapote is a small town north of San Jose, and every year the best bull riders compete here against each other. It is like the super bowl of the bull riders, but it is not like the Spanish sport of bullfighting. It is more like a traditional rodeo. Those who became hungry after watching the bull riding, can enjoy cotton candy, caramel apples, churros, and a many other great delicacies.