Juan Santamaría Day – April 11. Commemorates Costa Rica’s national hero

Juan Santamaría (August 29, 1831 – April 11, 1856), is officially recognized as the national hero of the Republic of Costa Rica. A national holiday in Costa Rica, Juan Santamaría Day, is held every April 11 to commemorate his death.

Santamaría was born in the city of Alajuela. When U.S. filibuster William Walker overthrew the government of Nicaragua and attempted to conquer the other nations in Central America, including Costa Rica, in order to form a private slave-holding empire, Costa Rican president Juan Rafael Mora Porras called upon the general population to take up arms and march north to Nicaragua to fight against the foreign invader. Santamaría, a poor laborer and the illegitimate son of a single mother joined the army as a drummer boy. The troops nicknamed him “el erizo” (“the Porcupine”) on account of his bald head.

After routing a small contingent of Walker’s soldiers at Santa Rosa, Guanacaste, the Costa Rican troops continued marching north and reached the city of Rivas, Nicaragua, on April 8, 1856. The battle that ensued is known as the Second Battle of Rivas. Combat was fierce and the Costa Ricans were not able to drive Walker’s men out of a hostel near the town center from which they commanded an advantageous firing position.

Image result for juan santamaria

According to the traditional account, on April 11, General José María Cañas (Salvadoran) suggested that one of the soldiers advance towards the hostel with a torch and set it on fire. Some soldiers tried and failed, but finally Santamaría volunteered on the condition that, in the event of his death, someone would look after his mother. He then advanced and was mortally wounded by enemy fire. Before expiring he succeeded, however, in setting fire to the hostel, thus contributing decisively to the Costa Rican victory at Rivas.

This account is apparently supported by a petition for a state pension filed on November 1857 by Santamaría’s mother, as well as by government documents showing that the pension was granted. Various historians, however, have questioned whether the account is accurate, and if Santamaria died or not during that battle or another one. At any rate, towards the end of the 19th century, Costa Rican intellectuals and politicians seized on the war against Walker and on the figure of Juan Santamaría for nationalist purposes.

Image result for juan santamaria

The days leading up to the national holiday on April 11 are celebrated with parades, concerts, dances and marching bands throughout the country, but festivities are particularly centered around the city of Alajuela. Ticos celebrate in style eating traditional foods and enjoying the special events. If you should visit at this time you will come to understand the real significance of Juan Santamaria Day.

Resource:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Juan Santamaría Day – April 11. Commemorates Costa Rica’s national hero

Juan Santamaría (August 29, 1831 – April 11, 1856), is officially recognized as the national hero of the Republic of Costa Rica. A national holiday in Costa Rica, Juan Santamaría Day, is held every April 11 to commemorate his death.
Santamaría was born in the city of Alajuela. When U.S. filibuster William Walker overthrew the government of Nicaragua and attempted to conquer the other nations in Central America, including Costa Rica, in order to form a private slave-holding empire, Costa Rican president Juan Rafael Mora Porras called upon the general population to take up arms and march north to Nicaragua to fight against the foreign invader.
Santamaría, a poor laborer and the illegitimate son of a single mother joined the army as a drummer boy. The troops nicknamed him “el erizo” (“the Porcupine”) on account of his bald head.After routing a small contingent of Walker’s soldiers at Santa Rosa, Guanacaste, the Costa Rican troops continued marching north and reached the city of Rivas, Nicaragua, on April 8, 1856. The battle that ensued is known as the Second Battle of Rivas. Combat was fierce and the Costa Ricans were not able to drive Walker’s men out of a hostel near the town center from which they commanded an advantageous firing position.Image result for juan santamaria

According to the traditional account, on April 11, General José María Cañas (Salvadoran) suggested that one of the soldiers advance towards the hostel with a torch and set it on fire. Some soldiers tried and failed, but finally Santamaría volunteered on the condition that, in the event of his death, someone would look after his mother. He then advanced and was mortally wounded by enemy fire. Before expiring he succeeded, however, in setting fire to the hostel, thus contributing decisively to the Costa Rican victory at Rivas.

This account is apparently supported by a petition for a state pension filed on November 1857 by Santamaría’s mother, as well as by government documents showing that the pension was granted. Various historians, however, have questioned whether the account is accurate, and if Santamaria died or not during that battle or another one. At any rate, towards the end of the 19th century, Costa Rican intellectuals and politicians seized on the war against Walker and on the figure of Juan Santamaría for nationalist purposes.

Image result for juan santamaria

The days leading up to the national holiday on April 11 are celebrated with parades, concerts, dances and marching bands throughout the country, but festivities are particularly centered around the city of Alajuela. Ticos celebrate in style eating traditional foods and enjoying the special events. If you should visit at this time you will come to understand the real significance of Juan Santamaria Day.

Resource:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

August 2nd , Virgin of Los Angeles Day in Costa Rica.

This devotion particularly took place in the village called “Puebla de Pardos”, situated at the outskirts of the capital Cartago, a village ethnically formed by descendants of blacks and indigenous people.
The story of Our Lady of the Angels, dating back to the first half of the seventeenth century, in the year of 1635, when a native, indigenous and poor girl, who was called Juana Pereira, found the statue of Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus in her arms on a rock and brought her back to her home (Los Angeles , Cartago today).

Night View of Basilica de los Angeles, Cartago

The next day the statue disappeared from her home and was found back on the same rock. The girl took it home again and the same events were repeated. Finally, the girl got fearful and she took the statue to the priest. The priest locked the statue and it went missing again. When discussed around it was known that a basilica was supposed to be built on the rock but its location was changed due to countless storms and earthquakes there. This incident was then taken as a sign that their patron wished the basilica to be built on the rock no matter what the dangers were. Her wish was granted and ever since the church has stood on the rock at Cartago.

La Negrita

The people of the town named “ La Negrita”(Black Maddona)  , the sculpture is  black color  and the Catholic Church  decided to put the title of Our Lady of  Los Angeles, because  it was  found on  August 2nd , when the Franciscan Order venerates as its patron Saint Mary of the Angels. The sculpture high is 20 cm, it has mestizo features, round face, slanting eyes, small nose and mouth, and is made of different materials such as jade, volcanic rock and graphite.

The church has since been restored and constitutes a unique mix of architectural styles from Byzantine  to baroque, with a dash of Gothic. The interior is even more striking, with a colorful tile floor, intricately painted, faux-finish wood columns, and lots of stained glass. The current building dates back to 1939. At the basilica they wash themselves and drink the water from the rock on which the statue was found. Scientists have since found this water to be safe to drink even though no filtration or chemicals are used to purify the water.

Pilgrims arriving to the Basilica

The basilica is open all day long and it is not uncommon to find several people stopping in for a prayer. In addition people will bring small silver medals shaped like body parts, where the shape represents the body part the pilgrim is concerned about. They leave them in front of “La Negrita” in hope that they will be cured. After a time, these medals are collected and stored. A selection of some of them can be seen in the Museum.

This holiday –August 2nd–  it is the focus of an annual pilgrimage to celebrate the appearance of La Negrita,  Costa Rica’s patron saint. To the left as you face the altar is a room decorated with amulets given in dedication to the virgin for her intercession in everything from triumphs over disease to triumphs on the soccer field.

Source:

Escuela de historia UCR: http://www.escuelahistoria.fcs.ucr.ac.cr/index.php/asuntos-estudiantiles/vida-estudiantil/servicios-ucr/15-efemerides/36-efemeride-dia-de-la-virgen-de-los-angeles

http://www.santuarionacional.org/

Trejos, Alonso (1991). Geografía Ilustrada Costa Rica (in Spanish). San José, Costa Rica: Trejos Editores. p. 128.

Guanacaste Day!! July 25

The Annexation of Guanacaste Day, celebrated on July 25, commemorates the annexation of the province of Guanacaste from Nicaragua in 1824 and celebrates Costa Rica’s core value of democracy.

The real History:

The meaning of the name of the celebration Annexation of Guanacaste Day is self-explanatory. This celebration occurs and originated in Liberia, which is the capital of the Guanacaste province. For  the year of 1800 was a province that belong to Spain , and Cortes of Cadiz in Spain  created the Province of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which in 1820 was divided into seven parts: Costa Rica, El Realejo, Granada, León, Nicaragua (Rivas), El Partido de Nicoya and Nueva Segovia.

Prior to 1824, Guanacaste region was named El Partido de Nicoya  ; however, in 1824 Guanacaste asked to be annexed to Costa Rica rather than remain part of strife-torn Nicaragua . At that time, Partido de Nicoya had three populations: Nicoya, indigenous town, seat of the government and the towns of Santa Cruz and Guanacaste (Liberia), where lived spaniards and mestizos. Geographically, Nicoya and Santa Cruz  had strong economic ties with Costa Rica and the rising port of Puntarenas, in Guanacaste (Liberia) had strong ties to Nicaragua (Rivas) (The region west of the river Tempisque, Bagaces villages and Canas, belonged to Costa Rica from the sixteenth century and were never part of the Partido de Nicoya).

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In early July 1824, while Nicaragua was plunged into civil war whose effects never reached to Nicoya, three towns of the Partido declined an invitation to them by the government of Costa Rica to join that state. However, Nicoya and Santa Cruz changed their minds, and July 25, 1824 decided to annex to Costa Rica, as recorded in the minutes of the City of Nicoya signed on that date by the political chief Junior Manuel Briceño and numerous neighbors.  Then in 1826 Liberia was added to Costa rica. The fact that Nicaragua was active in many civil wars at the time increased Guanacaste’s desire to be annexed to Costa Rica . The Central American Federation approved the annexation and thus Guanacaste became part of Costa Rica .

Guanacastans take great pride in being a part of Costa Rica and claim that in 1824, they joined Costa Rica by choice. Demonstrating their pride Guanacastans possess the slogan, De la Patria por Nuestro Voluntad. This phrase means part of the country by our own choice in Spanish. The fact that Guanacastans emphasize that they became a part of Costa Rica by choice, shows that democracy is valued. Therefore, Guanacaste Day is celebrated because Costa Rica highly values democratic ideals.

The celebrations:

The performance aspects of the celebration of Guanacaste Day consist of parades, folk dances and the playing of musical instruments, and bullfights.The parades mainly involve the children of the province. In the week leading up to July 25, all the schools, primary and secondary, have parades to the park at the center of town. The fact that children of this province are introduced to this celebration at a very young age demonstrates that this celebration is highly valued by Costa Rican society.

A biggest Costa Rican fiesta called Expo Liberia is  highlighted by rodeos, fireworks, Cimarronas,folkloric dances and music, parades, cattle shows, bullfights, concerts,  firecrackers (bombetas) and more traditions. This year will be 11 days from July 20th to July 31st,  full of Local spirit, culture expression and music.

Everybody is open invited to enjoy this celebration, many people from all Guanacaste and Costa Rica are ready to wear theirs cowboy boost and dance whith Marimba music; traditional music typically played by an elderly quartet on an old xylophone, and watching costumed girls performing the Punto Guanacasteco, the region’s folkloric dance that has become the national dance, the highlights of the Dia de Guanacaste lie firmly in the region’s ranching background.

Riding  a horse in a parade  with the heat of noon will be a great experience. Each day of the Expo, the entertainment kicks off with a tope, a horse parade full of several criollo horses and sabaneros (Costa Rican’s cowboys) dressing their finest steeds, showing off high-stepping staccato footwork as they clippity-clop all the way through town holding a cool beer or local guaro to avoid the heat . Try to be sober, the heat will kill , don’t forget your Hat.

Costa Rica's traditional dance-clothing
Costa Rica’s traditional dance-clothing

One of my favorite traditions in the celebratios is the  Diana (live traditional music played at dawn in the streets) every day at 5:00 am.

Also You should not miss the traditional bullfigtins called Toros  a la Tica or Corridas. No Fighting but doesn’t mean that you will not be hurt. This activity  will take a place in the arenas of the Expo, and it is complety different from the blood sport you find in Mexico and Spain,there are no profressional toreros. All the bullfighters are “improvisados” (amateurs) who run into the bull ring to taunt the bull with their jeers, jests, hands, etc., and then run like hell to avoid being horned by the bull.

Some useful information

Annexation Celebrations Schedule 

Where to Stay: You can Stay in affordable hotel in Liberia which probably will be full and expensive or decide to go at the beach and enjoy the beautiful Playas del Coco with your friends or family in Fully Furniture Condo

Festival de la Tortilla, Corralillo Nicoya

The students and staff of Colegio Tecnico Profesional de Corralillo, Nicoya are ready to perform the eighth edition of ¨Tortilla¨ Festival 2017, with main purpose to highlight this amazing culinary tradition to make with hands the tortillas –tortilla is daily bread – a flat, pancake-like disc made from masa harina Corn –, at the same time shown local customs, traditions and the real identity of “Being Guanacasteco”. 

Tortilla Festival 2017 will take a place in the Colegio Tecnico Profesional de Corralillo in Nicoya, it is scheduled to start on Saturday July 22 .  The big competition will be on July 25 with  participation of about 20 women from Nicoya who will test their skills to make tortillas “webbed air” (Palmeadas aire).

Wood-burning
Wood-burning “mud furnace”(Hornillas) where the Torillas will be Cook. Pic CTP Corralillo

The final Tortilla Festival 2017 is scheduled for July 25, a day before the commemoration of the 193rd anniversary of the Annexation of Nicoya to Costa Rica Free State.

The Tortilla Festival was declared of cultural interest (Ministry of Culture) and cantonal interest (Municipality of Nicoya).

Festival de la tortilla. Pic Periodico EL mensaje
Festival de la tortilla. Pic Periodico EL mensaje

Here is the schedule of the Event .

Be part of this culinary event and you will understand some of the reasons why Blue-Zoners live healthier, longer lives : Their diet, Inhabitants of Blue Zones tend to have diets high in nutrients and low in calories and to avoid heavily processed foods.

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So here you will find expert tortilla-shapers that will feed you with their amazing tortillas made in Corn. Juts to remark that Corn is a cancer fighter as well as a valuable source of vitamin C.

Also, if you are strong enought you can participate in  another interesting activity as a part of the festival . It called Rajada de Leña

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The Rajad de leña , it is a fun activity where men compete chopping logs with axes during a wood chopping competition. This competition will be held at the Palenque of  Colegio de Corralillo at 7 am on Saturday 22nd.

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March 20th. Battle of Santa Rosa

"Oleo de la época sobre la Batalla de Santa Rosa. Imagen suministrada por el Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría".
“Oleo de la época sobre la Batalla de Santa Rosa. Imagen suministrada por el Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría”.

The Battle of Santa Rosa was a battle between the forces of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Nicaragua forces were led by William Walker, a Soldier from Nashville, Tenessee, US that believed in Slavery and wanted to convert all of Central America into slaving territory.

It was one of the most important battles in the history of Costa Rica. The battle took place on March 20, 1856 at Hacienda Santa Rosa, Liberia, Costa Rica. Today is a historic old house preserved as a monument in center of a beautiful national park.

The fighting was caused by the arrival of William Walker in Nicaragua. He arrived to Realejo Port in Nicaragua with 57 soldiers. He convinced Patricio Rivas, the president of Nicaragua , to attack Costa Rica and extend his domain to all of Central America to make it a slave empire.

Imagen relacionada

The president of Costa Rica, Juan Rafael Mora Porras realized that Walker wanted to conquer them. On February 27, 1856, Mora declared the war against Walker and Nicaragua.
President Mora requested to all Costa Ricans between aged 15 and 50 to go to fight, because the army was very small. This brought together a group of ten thousand men ready to fight against Walker.

On March 4th, Joaquin Mora (brother of the president of Costa Rica) led the forces as they started their march towards Nicaragua, at the same time, the filibusteros made their way to Costa Rica and settled at Santa Rosa, in the province of Guanacaste.

On March 12th, they arrived in Liberia. There they join with Jose Maria Cañas and his battalion. On March 20th, the then thousand Costa Ricans walked to Hacienda Santa Rosa where the filibusters had formed their post at La Casona. At four o’clock, the Costa Rican battalions began the attack against the invaders.

After eighteen minutes, the Costa Rican forces won the battle. The few filibusters that had escaped went to Nicaragua. William Walker armed a new army. President Mora quickly moved on to Rivas with his 10000 men, and the Battle of Rivas started.

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Source .
http://wvw.nacion.com/zurqui/laminas/home1.html

Version Espanol

October 31st Mascarada Puppet Days : The Tico Hallowen day.

Costa Ricans don’t celebrate Halloween as Familiar  but we adopted this day almost exclusively in communities with expats , this is a great opportutity for Local bars and Hotel to attract customers during the low tourism season with costumed parties.

This is Capitalist Celebreation…I invite you to Celebrate with your family and friends a very nice Tico tradition :  Mascaradas Puppets Day on October 31 st.

La Mascarada is a parade of giant masked figures. This tradition is originated as an adaption of Carnival. The Spaniards brought their costumed holiday, Carnival, and its masquerade dances to Central America. This cultural traditions had begun to fade away until 1996 when the Ministry of culture decided to establish an annual parade called the Dia de la Mascarada Tradicional Costarricense.

Parades celebrating this day are held throughout the country with many people wearing their large masks and dancing. Everyone danced with the puppets joining in. Kids enjoy it more than anybody.The music is provided by groups of musicians called Cimarronas-band of traditional Costa Rica Music. These bands have been an important part of all Costa Rican celebrations for years. The name comes from the Spanish word for wild, cimarrón, and was originally used to refer to the band made up of self-taught musicians.

Heads are made with craft paper  and newspapers with glue and Skilled by local artisans that spend weeks preparing the masquerade costumes. They are shaped and painted to look like characters from stories told long ago in the Costa Rican tradition or some funny character like  El Diablo, la Muerte, la Segua, la Llorona, la Giganta, el Polizonte, la Chingoleta, el Padre sin Cabeza and others.

The  clebration hels in the cities of Cartago, Escazu, Aserri and Barva . Escazu has a long tradition to manufacture Mascarada for festivals. The traditional Mascarada Festival in Escazu will be set from Octuber 29th to 31st. Here is the Scheduleof Activities