Christmas in Costa Rica

By: Temple Reinhart

The Beginning of the Holiday season

As the month of November ends, the weather begins to change, which means the start of the Christmas holiday. In the Capital, San Jose, they begin by celebrating Festival De La Luz to officially start the holiday season. Costa Rica the main religion is Catholic. Christmas in Costa Rica is very important to the people filled with lights, music, church and spending time with their families.


As with many Catholic nations, nativity scenes with figurines of Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the animals of the manger are a standard Costa Rica Christmas decoration, called “Portals”. During the season offerings such as fruits and little toys are placed in front of the nativity scene. The baby Jesus figurine is placed in the nativity the night before Christmas, December 24th. The Costa Rica Christmas season doesn’t end until the sixth of January, when the three wise men are said to have greeted baby Jesus.


Costa Rica’s houses and public buildings are decked out in elaborate Christmas decorations and lights, the more flashing patterns the better! Many enjoy driving around at night to see all of the displays. Christmas trees are either fresh-scented real cypress trees or artificial trees are put up with bright lights and ornaments, often covered in colorful gauze and ribbons, with a gold star on top.