Some Holidays Are Paid; Others Not Paid
In Costa Rica there are two types of holidays, those obligatory as stipulated by the Labour Code and the ones that are optional. The latter are mainly Catholic Church feast days on which the employee is free to decide whether he will go to work and get paid his regular day's wage or stay home and earn no salary for that day. Employers, of course, prefer the employee to demonstrate his cooperation, but they can't reprimand him for not showing up. Many towns have their own holidays for celebrating the day of their patron saint.
The city of San Ramón in Alajuela Province celebrates the Day of San Ramón on August 31st in which the images of saints from nearby towns enter the city and participate in a beautiful procession. Tierra Blanca, Cot and Pacayas on the flanks of the Irazú Volcano, San Isidro de Coronado and many other small agricultural towns celebrate May 15th which is the Day of San Isidro el Labrador (patron saint of farmers). JuIy 31st is celebration day in Sarchí and December 12th in Nicoya, Guanacaste. January 15th is feast day in Alajuelita just south of San José (celebrating the day of the Black Christ) while June 24th is the Day of San Juán de Tibás on the northern end of metropolitan San José. An important marathon is held on that day. Most processions are followed by a cimarrona (brass band) whose players are generally older men.
In the port of Puntarenas, July 16th is the Day of the Virgin del Carmen. On that day is held a procession at sea in front of the port with the image of the virgin on a boat followed by many fishing vessels and other small craft. Día del Boyero is celebrated in San Antonio de Escazú the second Sunday of March with a splendid oxcart parade. An acquaintance of mine from Curridabat in western San José said he cried while on a vacation in London because he missed the firecrackers and festivities of San Antonio which are celebrated annually the last week of June. To find out when a town will have its festivities, call the municipality for information.