Independence Day

September 15 is Independence Day in Costa Rica, commemorating the day in 1821 when the authorities in Guatemala declared all of Central America independent of Spanish rule.

The celebrations begin on September 14, when students, parents, and teachers go out into the streets with colorful homemade lamps called faroles, to celebrate the voice of independence. Their parades commemorate Dolores Bedoya, who travelled the streets of the city of Guatemala on the night of September 14th, 1821, urging people to demonstrate for liberty.

On the following day all of the children dress up in their school uniforms and march with their bright Costa Rica flags, while bands play the traditional songs of freedom.