Feliz Navidad


The holiday season is in full swing here in Costa Rica. All of the houses and streets are colorfully decorated with Christmas lights and nativity scenes. Many of the local stores are stocked with toy Santas and gingerbread houses. There are many ferias, or fairs, that take place throughout the town with activities, light ceremonies and lots of good food. Aside from the lack of snow, seeing these things remind me of being back home. I’ve been wondering if families here celebrate the holiday in the same way that we do back home. Do young children put out milk and cookies for Santa Claus? Do they spend the whole Christmas morning sharing gifts? Do people go out and cut down a Christmas tree for the house? I decided to talk to some people here to investigate.

What tradition did I learn about?:

For many people in Costa Rica, Christmas is a time to meet up with family and embrace the beginning of summer. Here, December is the beginning of the dry season which means less rain and more sun. Since Halloween and Thanksgiving are not widely celebrated here, people start preparing for Christmas as early as October. They put up lights and buy Christmas trees. Something interesting that I have been hearing a lot is that many people here prefer to buy fake trees. This is because real trees bring bugs and a big mess.