Public Holidays - Costa Rica

If nothing else, Costa Ricans love a good holiday!  No work, get paid, have fun.  Many are based on religious holidays, so many holidays are extremely important to those who take their religion seriously. 

During these public holidays, all banks, post offices, museums and government offices are closed.  So is the entire judicial system.  Many businesses likewise are closed or are working but with substantially less staff.

The country comes to a virtual standstill for two important weeks.  

Semana Santa (Easter Holy week from Holy Thursday until after Easter), but in reality, the country simply shuts down and many places offer few if any services during the proceeding week..

The week (more or less) between Christmas and New Years Day.  Do not expect to do any business here during that time and you may find nobody answering phone calls or returning email.  Tourist businesses are the exception of course as these are the two most heavily traveled periods in that industry.  The courts will not re-open until mid January.

Public Holidays 2008

New Year’s DayJanuary 1All closed
Maundy Thursday March 20Holy Thursday
Good Friday March 21All Closed
*Juan Santamaria Day Apr 14 All Cosed
Labor DayMay 1All Closed - Sunday in 2005
*Guanacaste Day July 28Annexation of Guanacaste
Virgin of Los Angeles, Cartago, Patroness of Costa Rica Aug 2 Romeros (pilgrims) come from hundreds of miles away on horseback and walking.
*Mother's Day Aug 15All Closed - Mothers are taken seriously here!
Independence DaySep  15All Closed - Lots of celebrations going on
*Columbus Day (Dia de la Raza) Oct 12  
Christmas Eve**Dec 244 hour day only -Nochebuena
Christmas DayDec 25All Closed
* These are adjusted dates as new law states that these holidays will be celebrated the following Monday if they ocurred on the preious Friday or Thursday
** Costa Ricans celebrate Christmas on the 24th, but this is not a holiday as some banks may be open.

The Legislative Assembly recently approved a law that would change holidays that occur during the week to the following Monday.

The new law would move holidays like that normally fall on April 11, July 25, August 15 (Dia de la Madre), September 15 (Independence Day) to the following Monday if they should fall during the week.

Nobaody pays much attention to August 15th, Mothers Day and everyone celebrtes it on that day regarless of law.

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