Independence Day in Costa Rica

Independence Day in Costa Rica, known locally as "Día de la Independencia," is a significant public holiday celebrated annually on September 15th. The day marks the country's independence from Spain in 1821.


The celebration of Independence Day in Costa Rica dates back to 1821 when the Central American countries, including Costa Rica, gained their independence from Spain. On September 15, 1821, the Act of Independence of Central America was signed in Guatemala, declaring the region's freedom from Spanish rule. The news of independence took about a month to reach Costa Rica, but once it arrived, the people eagerly embraced their newfound freedom. Today, the holiday honors the struggle for independence and the individuals who played a crucial role in achieving it.


National customs for Independence Day in Costa Rica

Independence Day in Costa Rica is marked by a variety of customs and traditions that bring the country together in a vibrant celebration of national pride. One of the most notable customs is the "Desfile de Faroles" (Lantern Parade), held on the eve of Independence Day, September 14th. Children create and carry homemade lanterns, known as "faroles," in a parade through their local communities. The lanterns are often adorned with patriotic symbols and colors, representing the country's rich history and culture.

Another important tradition is the "Torch Relay," which starts in Guatemala and passes through all the Central American countries, ending in Cartago, Costa Rica. The torch represents the unity and shared history of the Central American nations, as well as the journey of the news of independence in 1821. Schools and communities often hold cultural events, traditional dances, and musical performances to commemorate the day, while families gather to enjoy the festivities and traditional Costa Rican cuisine.

Local customs for Independence Day in Costa Rica

Local customs for Independence Day vary across the different regions of Costa Rica, reflecting the diversity of the country's culture and history. In many towns and cities, the day is marked by parades featuring traditional costumes, music, and dancing. In the former capital city of Cartago, a special ceremony takes place, where the "Acta de Independencia" (Act of Independence) is read aloud to honor the nation's heroes and remind citizens of their history.

In other parts of the country, communities host their own unique celebrations, such as bullfights, horseback riding parades, and fireworks displays. These local customs allow each region to express its unique identity while still celebrating the shared history and values of the nation.


Independence Day in Costa Rica is a day of unity, pride, and reflection on the country's history and achievements. Through national and local customs, Costa Ricans come together to celebrate their rich culture and the sacrifices made by those who fought for their independence. The vibrant festivities and traditions serve as a reminder of the importance of freedom and the ongoing journey towards progress and prosperity.