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Independence Day

Independence Day 2020, 2021 and 2022

Independence Day in Costa Rica falls on every 15 September. This marks the day in 1821 when Costa Rica declared its freedom from the colonial Spanish regime.

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In 1570, Costa Rica was a part of the Spanish-controlled “kingdom” of Guatemala. Yet, due to its distance and inaccessibility from the capital, Guatemala City, it developed an identity of its own. For a long time, Costa Rica was neglected as a poor, backwoods part of Guatemala, but its importance began to rise with its tobacco exports in the years prior to independence.

Although Costa Rica declared its independence along with other part of Central America in 1821, it was under the control of Mexico briefly and then part of a central American union that lasted from 1823 till 1839. But in 1838, Costa Rica left the union and became an independent nation.

On 15 September, Costa Ricans all over the country engage in a day of joyful celebration of their nation’s independence. There are numerous parades, student-led music performances, family get-togethers, and other events. On the night leading up to Independence Day, there is a special lantern parade that remembers the late-night arrival of the news of independence to Costa Rica in 1821.