Easter In Costa Rica

by Michael L. Smith

The Easter holidays in Costa Rica are a wonderful time to watch picturesque processions in all parts of the country. This time of celebration, reflection, and renewal of spirit is dominated by dramatic enactments of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, as recorded in these two photos taken during the elaborate production in San Joaquín de Flores.

The week leading up to Easter Sunday is also a time for vacations throughout the country. Schools are closed, many businesses close the entire week and everybody shuts down Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) and Good Friday.

Until a few years ago, there was no vehicle traffic of any kind on Holy Thursday and Good Friday in Costa Rica. Believers thought that the use of vehicles during this holy time was a sin. On those days people got around on foot or horseback, or stayed home with family.

Nowadays many Costa Ricans take advantage of these days for a mid-summer vacation and abandon the city for the beachs and mountains. Regular business activity slows down during the week; Holy Thursday and Good Friday find public services and transportation at a virtual standstill.

Jesus being led off to the cross
Christ on the Cross
Modern times have seen the breaking of many of the old traditions, but many Costa Ricans continue their strong loyalty. The celebration of Easter is one of great solemnity and faith, whether held in the neighborhood church or at the beach.

Click on these images to see a larger version.

More photographs of Easter celebrations in San Joaquín de Flores

[Image 1] [Image 2] [Image 3] [Image 4]