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Fiesta Patronal de Santo Cristo – January Festival in Costa Rica

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Santa Cruz holds the distinction of being the national folklore city of Costa Rica, thanks to its commitment to keeping its traditions and customs alive, including traditional dance, musical instruments, food and drink. It was declared the Folklore City by the Central American institute of tourism.  

The city of Santa Cruz is a typical rural and local town. Its inhabitants are a big group of farmers, fishermen, workers and employees. The town is known for its cultural traditions and for its history.

A wonderful time to visit Santa Cruz is during January when the city honors its patron saint, Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, with dances, parties and scrumptious local delicacies. People from all over Costa Rica attend this festival.  January 15 is the day of the Patron Saint, and a procession is made through Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz’s image of Christ was brought from Guatemala in 1840.

In addition to these activities, cultural shows are organized: traditional dance, music from Guanacaste and marimba music is played. The events take place around two main locations: the Plaza de los Mangos, where the bull-riding stage is set up; and Parque Bernabela Ramos, where cultural activities are held.

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Curious about how other cultures celebrate? Read about how to "Master Mardi Gras Like a Local!" Or, visit our intercultural blog for advice on how to improve your intercultural communication and cultural awareness. 

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