Cultures National Day was once “Dia de la Raza,” a day to commemorate the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and the subsequent spreading of Spanish culture in the Americas. However, since 1994, the holiday’s name has been “Dia de las Culturas,” or “Day of the Cultures.” This is to recognize the place of multiple, highly diverse cultures in Costa Rica’s history.
|2020||12 Oct||Mon||Cultures National Day|
|2021||11 Oct||Mon||Cultures National Day|
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|2023||9 Oct||Mon||Cultures National Day|
|2024||14 Oct||Mon||Cultures National Day|
Spanish, other European, African, Amerindian, and Asian cultural influences all contribute to modern Costa Rica. And all of these cultural influences are on full display during Cultures National Day.
But despite the name change, the day still also honours Christopher Columbus. Columbus visited the area twice on his voyages to the New World, and he even named the coast off modern Costa Rica, well, “Costa Rica” (Rich Coast).
There will be singing, dancing, eating, and various cultural celebrations throughout Costa Rica for days on end for Cultures National Day. But Limon Province, where Columbus once made landfall, is the centre of celebration.
A carnival is held there during the week leading up to October 12th. You will see colourful costumes, hear marching bands, see teams of dancers dance down the streets, and much more. It is certainly a unique experience you will not soon forget.