Costa Rica Independence Day – September 15th

Independence Day Parade of Faroles

Although September 15th is Costa Rica’s official date to recognize its independence from Spain in 1821, festivities begin on the 14th when a runner carries the “freedom” torch from Nicaragua to Panama.  (This re-enactment commemorates the historic event when a runner ran from border to border notifying the people of Costa Rica of their liberation.)  By 6:00 PM, the runner arrives in Cartago (the capital city at the time independence was granted) where it is welcomed by the president of the country.  At precisely 6:00 PM, the entire country comes to a halt as all TV and radio stations broadcast the anthem and young and old alike join in singing along in a burst of patriotism whether at home, standing on a street corner, riding a bus or watching TV.  Following the anthem, sirens announce the beginning of the parade of faroles, homemade lanterns symbolizing the original torch. The faroles are family projects and vary greatly – some resemble houses, others look like globes and others appear to be lantern-like – but all are carried proudly.  Following the parade, children in typical costumes perform traditional dances in the school and then the fireworks begin.  (No celebration in Costa Rica is complete without fireworks!)  Another parade takes place on the morning of the 15th and those of us in the barrio who live along the parade route make sure our homes are decorated with flags and banners.


One response to “Costa Rica Independence Day – September 15th

  1. El desfile de faroles NO SIMBOLIZA la Antorcha de la Independencia, es un homenaje/recordatorio a aquellos primeros habitantes que en penumbras salieron a fritar nuestra libertad. Estas personas salieron de sus casas con antorchas a escuchar la noticia…

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