Every year on January 14th, Santa Cruz is home to the famous Fiestas típicas Nacionales, a religious festival dedicated to a saint called “Cristo de Esquipulas” by the locals.
This festival celebrates the Guanacaste culture and it’s one of the most important ones in Costa Rica. Many people that live far take holidays on this date and come from all over the country to enjoy the amazing atmosphere in town. It’s worth noting that the previous week to the official start, there’s the Semana Cultural or Cultural Week that includes activities like traditional dance presentations.
One of the most important activities is the rodeo, where it’s said that only brave men dare to master the beast. Other cultural activities include the Pasacalle, a parade where people dressed up with big and colorful masks (Mascaradas), and the Tope, a horse parade where the riders dress up and trot their animals at a special pace.
Music plays a big part in this festival and the marimba, a percussion instrument, is the start of the show. The Fiestas típicas Nacionales de Santa Cruz also feature carrousels for kids -and why not older ones- mechanical games, street food, concerts, and much more. It’s a very special period of two weeks full of activities where the santacruceños show their pride for their culture.