Every year on the second Saturday of the month of December, Costa Rica celebrates “El Festival de la Luz”. Literally translated it would mean “The Festival of the Light”. The festival is relatively new, it was organized for the first time in 1996 by the Municipality of San José. Since moving to Costa Rica my family has this tradition of going every year, I took a point and shoot camera and snapped a few pictures so I could share with you all.
Usually the festival kicks off with a fireworks show, this year we got a great view!
After the fireworks, the parade starts. The floats start off at La Sabana (Translated: The Savanna), which is a well known urban park in Costa Rica. In the 1930’s the government decided to locate the country’s first international airport there. La Sabana International Airport continued to work for 44 years, until the inauguration of the current Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela.
This float was by the ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) With sea Men creatures and all!
We usually stay by La Sabana park, where the crowds aren’t that crazy. Farther down the street the bands, and cheerleaders, mesh together with the floats. Forming the parade’s true starting point at El Gimnasio Nacional (The National Gym). El Festival de la Luz is very popular, seeing as it is the only time of the year when there is a parade, and I feel like it marks the beginning of the christmas season. You seriously want to have Christmas shopping done before el Festival de la Luz! Shopping centers get really congested after it, and sadly I made this mistake this year.
These kids climbed the fence to get a better view.
Many families attend the festival with young children, who are drawn by the bright lights…
One little guy that I spotted that seemed particularly young, and enjoying himself immensely is this one right here:
His dad would raise this him over his head, so he could get a good view of the floats. This little guy kept making me laugh as he wiggled around trying to dance to the music that was playing. I mean, did you see the Santa outfit, too? So cute!
Claro’s (a phone company) float
We usually only stick around long enough to view all the floats, and then head off to a little restaurant near by to eat something. The parade isn’t that long, it starts at el Gimnasio Nacional and ends at la Plaza de la Democracia. (Plaza of Democracy). It’s a fun event to attend and really gets you in the holiday spirit!