Easter Week in Costa Rica can be one of the richest cultural experiences to enjoy if you are on vacation at this time of year. Not only the religious traditions around it that are fascinating, but as well the fact that Costa Ricans fill the parks and cities, as everyone is off.
Costa Rica is a country packed with strong traditions and a vibrant culture, and they both can be fully experienced during Easter (Semana Santa = Holy Week)
There are dozens of street processions wherever you go. In every single town where there is a church, there will be celebrations.
Either participating in the religious and cultural experiences or simply enjoying the last weeks of the sunny season this is, certainly a very good time of year in Costa Rica.
Traditional celebrations and activities include the following:
Street Catholic Processions
Processions are the way to remind the people of what happened in Easter in the last days of Jesus. It originally comes from Spain, and they happen all over Latin America.(Video above)
Each town creates masses and processions, and they take place on Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
As you can see in the video above they include actors that engage in the reenactment of the latest days of Christ reaching up to the resurrection.
When the procession starts walking the assistants join the procession in many cases singing and praying.
Many Costa Ricans retire to their hometowns during Holy Week to spend the season with friends and family.
These celebrations include traditional attire ensembles that represent the procession; the arrangement of local foods is also enjoyed, not only by residents but also by visitants.
You may also like: A small guide to the National Parks of Costa Rica
Throughout Sacred Week, the tradition is to consume seafood because of the Catholic habit of not eating beef during Lent Fridays.
With two coasts, Costa Rica serves a collection of exquisite dishes like fried fish, rice with calamari or shrimp, fish or lobster ceviche, and well! Fish Soup!
As well as dishes with season vegetables and fruits like empanadas de chiverre (a big fruit/vegetable in the family of squash), and chiverre honey.
The tradition of making homemade jam like honey from a fruit or vegetable is very popular in Easter Week in Costa Rica, as well.They are all made with “tapa de dulce” (Sugar cane juice hardened after boiling for hours)
For the fruit honey: Water and the tapa de dulce are cooked; the select fruit is added to the mix with cinnamon and vanilla.
Cod soup is also very common at this time of the year. It is usually prepared using tender squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots.
This soup is fast and simple to cook and can be consumed as an aperitif or main dish.
Exploring the Sea and Sky
Everything in Easter Week in Costa Rica, except tourist destinations, is closed on Thursday and Friday during Holy Week, and many Costa Rican families enjoy some of the 1,000 miles of coastline.
With an excellent array of magnificent beaches extending from a coconut tree-lined paradise to volcanic black sand shores surrounded by infinite rainforests.
For those seeking adventure inland, Costa Rica is at the core of one of the most active volcanic regions on the planet.
Costa Rica has up to 500 volcano formations among volcanoes, old cones, and mountains that were formed as volcanoes but have been extinct for millions of years already.
2017. Procesiones josefinas serán protagonizadas por feligreses . no-date. Nacioncom. [Online]. [6 April 2017]. Available from: http://www.nacion.com/ocio/artes/Procesiones-josefinas-protagonizadas-feligreses_0_1408859136.html
Sáenz-Carbonell, O. (2017). Camino Travel. [online] www.caminotravel.com. Available at: https://www.caminotravel.com/easter-week-costa-rica/ [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017].