Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Independence Day, 2013

Costa Rica's Independence Day is this the 15th of September, like many of the other Central American countries.  Being the history nerd I am, I find it fascinating that there was no war for independence with all of these countries.  Mexico was fighting Spain for their independence and in the last days of that war, all the Central American leaders got together in Guatemala and declared independence too.  And Spain pretty much said, "ummm, ok, sure...we're done with the New World."

And that very important meeting took place on September 14, 1821.  From there the news traveled all night and got to Costa Rica the next day.

So, in honor of that waiting and watching, September 14th is a big part of the Independence Day celebrations.  Kids make faroles which are lanterns in different shapes, usually something that represents Costa Rica.  This year the Forrest made an ox cart and Elliot made a volcano.

School kids then have a parade with their faroles that night and at 6pm the entire country stops, as in everyone, even if you are driving, stops and gets out and sings the national anthem.  We were at a party that night and they broadcast it live too, sorta like the ball dropping in Times Square for New Year's.

This year, September 15th came on a Sunday, which seemed to throw the routine off a bit.  Forrest's school did there Faroles parade on the 13th, which worked out well because we went to a party with other LAM missionaries on the 14th.

The parade at school also included the kids performing traditional songs and dances.  And because it is rainy season, the parade was inside.  Which caused some problems...as in we got separated from Forrest during the parade where the lights were out so we could enjoy the glow from the faroles.  The poor kid couldn't find us and we couldn't find him until a teacher put him up on stage.  He was so brave and didn't cry until he saw me.

But then we got his farole and walked around the gym.  Really, next time Costa Rica declares independence they should do it in February during the dry season.

The night of the 14th we went to Tico friends' house (they area also part of LAM) and enjoyed typical foods, butchered the national anthem (which I noticed Forrest knew all the words to!) and then had our own parade outside.

Which really, was funny.  Most of the people there have grown kids and we were dressed up in traditional dress walking around the neighborhood.  I even saw a car full of Ticos laughing at the strange gringos.  Oh well.  We had fun.

It was fun to be able to participate more this year and understand more of what was going on. Oh, and Quinn is well on his way to being more Tico than not...

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