Costa Rica declared itself a sovereign nation in 1838 and its celebration of independence is still a big day marked with parades, parties, marching bands and general merriment throughout the country. A regular feature is the Freedom Torch, carried by runners coming up from Nicaragua and arriving in Cartago to handover the torch to the Costa Rican relay team; the torch travels from country to country, town to town and school to school, and is used to light the torches of each community. Schools play a big role in the celebrations with children dressing traditionally, parading and performing. Costa Rica has no military so the parades are all of proud civilians and performers. Traditionally, colourful home-made lamps are made to symbolise the light of freedom. The 15th September is an official national holiday in Costa Rica and always a good day to be in the country which is especially happy and friendly during this period.
Date: 15 September 2013