Ok, without a doubt, things here are a bit different than most other parts of the world. To get a complete and passionate expression of what Pura Vida is all about in Costa Rica, you really need to be here during a holiday...especially a really BIG holiday...like Christmas!! To sum things up, everything is very simple, genuine, and sincere. Here is a wonderful article from the venerable CostaRicanNews...enjoy.
"Costa Rica, like any other place on the planet, has it’s special, quirky ways that you know without a doubt it’s that time of year again: Christmas. Thankfully, gaudily lit houses flashing in-time to the same Christmas carol for hours on end take a backseat to more subtle traditions.
For instance, (and in no particular order) you know it’s Christmas in Costa Rica when you see…
1. Living Nativity Scenes – Keeping the ‘Christ’ in Christmas, no holiday season is complete without families dressed up in Biblical robes while hanging out with a burro and goat in public.
2. Tamales – Oh the tamales! Although they are occasionally available at other times of the year, tamales are an ubiquitous and tasty Costa Rican Christmas tradition. Savor and freeze some extras if you get your hands on them; there’s a lot of love and time put into every single one.
3. Feliz Navidad – Not so surprisingly, these words, which mean “Merry Christmas” in Spanish can be seen and heard everywhere from the local market to the local bar.
4. Sandmen – No snow? Not a problem. Where there’s a will, there’s a way to celebrate the holidays.
5. Topes – You know it’s a Costa Rica festival when there’s a tope, which is basically a flashy horse parade. All throughout Costa Rica, locals gather around the tope routes to sing, drink, eat and enjoy.
6. Rodeos – Nothing says Christmas like watching cowboys get thrown from 2,000 pound bulls. Large and small rodeos are hosted all over the country as a gathering place for friends and family to get together and enjoy a good ‘ole fashioned country good time.
No matter what your plans are for Christmas this year in Costa Rica, make sure to jump in on at least one of these classic Costa Rican traditions!"
Wait a minute, did I mention fireworks? That's right, the rest of the world has nothing on Costa Rica when it comes to celebrating...especially Christmas. From the local fireworks stands around EVERY town, village, and city to floating barges that run up and down the coast lighting up the crystal clear skies...WOOHOO...Feliz Navidad.
Have a sensational day! PURA VIDA!!