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National Holidays and Festivities

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5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

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.

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