September is to Costa Rica what July is to the United States: a month filled with patriotic displays and celebrations of the country’s Dia de Independencia, which officially takes place on Sept. 15.
Costa Rica is a country brimming with national pride thanks in part to the fact that its Independence Day traditions that are highly centered around the younger generations. For the nation’s work force, Sept. 15 might be just one day off work, but for the school children, it marks the culmination of months of preparation and time to show off their artistic talent.
Central America actually declared its independence from Spain collectively from the colonial seat in Guatemala in 1821, meaning Sept. 15 is a day of celebration up and down the isthmus. As with most colonial government affairs, Costa Rica had little to do with the decision, and the region didn’t even learn of its independence until a full month later when a delegation arrived from Guatemala to pass on the news.
Every year, a flaming torch is carried from Guatemala starting on Sept. 11 all the way to the former colonial capital of Costa Rica in Cartago, symbolizing the arrival of the news of independence. The runners are selected from the local schools throughout Central America to carry the torch an average of 500 meters, a task that serves as a great source of pride. The torch crosses the Nicaraguan border into Costa Rica each year on the eve of the day of independence and arrives in the northern town of Liberia in time for a sunset ceremony on Sept. 14. Runners and bikers follow the torch route for varying distances, occasionally getting lost as outlying townspeople join the crowd to light their own torches to carry along their own divergent routes.
As the torch makes its way through Costa Rica, local townships kick off the two days of celebration with parades, mascaradas, concerts and cultural shows. School children are required to participate in their town parades in marching bands or by carrying “Faroles”, or elaborate homemade paper lanterns. Their designs sit atop or hang from a wooden stick with candles inside to light the way. It is a tradition for the children to make their own lanterns in patriotic colors, often in the form of a house, animal, vehicle or other creative representations of national symbols.
I adore Yoga!
This is why I love bacon…..when it’s alive!
Pull the thread of animal rights…and we find it interdependently tied to social causes, civil rights, meditation and spiritual practice, faith in God, family…everything worth anything. And that sucks, you see: ’cause then we can never eat bacon, no more—in the same way that we can’t kick a puppy or wear shoes made by child labor. We walk a new path, one that’s not about perfection—everything we buy or wear or eat is tied to suffering—but because we want to do our best, and enjoy this short, wonderful life to the utmost.
Like we did in the old days…..
Missing my team and wishing I was preparing for the first game tomorrow! Good Luck!
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