Celebrating 201 Years of Costa Rica Independence

Discover a few interesting facts about Costa Rica Independence Day and rejoice with the country for its 201 years of freedom on September 15!

On September 15, 1821, a crucial Central American congress signed “The Act of Independence” asserting that Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica were free and unbiased of the Spanish Empire.

Even though September 15 is the day the independence was declared, it wasn’t until October 13 that the news reached Costa Rica. The messenger had to travel by horseback from Guatemala with the official declaration.

September 15 is a countrywide holiday, with agencies, banks and other establishments closed.

Each year, a symbolic independence torch travels from Guatemala to Costa Rica’s colonial capital of Cartago, east of San José, arriving on September 14. Like the Olympic torch, the independence torch is carried throughout the critical American countries in a relay by using runners.

On the evening of September 14, Costa Rica starts its large party in every town throughout the country with a traditional midnight lantern parade (Desfile de Faroles) by schoolchildren.

School marching bands, colour guards and folkloric dancers parade through almost every town on the morning of September 15. Schoolchildren practice for several months in preparation. Traditional food and souvenir are typically sold through street vendors.

Costa Rica is a democratic and peaceful country and has not had an army since 1948.

Costa Rica’s countrywide flag is striped blue, white, red, white and blue. The color blue signifies the sky, white is for peace, and red is for the warmth and courage of the Costa Rican people. The current flag has been in place since 1964.

Source: Howler Mag

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