New Years is a Day of celebration for many nations around the world! We had the opportunity to participate in the Costa Rican New Year celebrations in Tamarindo, CR. Our young children were primed and ready to go as soon as dark came, but as you know dark comes early in CR. It’s stone dark at 6:00pm.
That doesn’t stop the buzz that is swirling all around you. People young and old, from near and far swarm the streets. Venders line the streets filling the air with the smell of fresh baked pastries and Bar BQ chicken (pollo; one of the favorite sayings in our house). There is a jovial air about the town. Laughter is heard all around and you feel like you are about to be a part of something special.
Bonfires spot the beach, drinks are enjoyed and people make new friends as well as reunite with old friends and neighbors. At midnight the countdown is on, and firework shows are put on by fancy hotels in the distance as well as people right beside you! It is a beautiful sight, and everyone “Ooo’s and Aw’s” with every colorful explosion. Periodically you will also see light lanterns being lit and left to fly up into the night sky.
There are many amusing New Year traditions that are widely practiced among Costa Ricans. One among them is wearing red underwear on New Year with a hope that the coming year will make them meet their spouse or true lover; and wearing yellow with a hope of receiving good luck in the new year.
We did not learn of this tradition until the evening was over, so we must try it out next year! My youngest son, would totally run with that one. He loves to loung in nothing but underpants!
Some other traditions that differ from ours in Canada and the US is eating twelve grapes at midnight. Each grape eaten is dedicated to all the months of the Passing Year, and making a wish with every grape is also a traditional way of bidding farewell to the past. The feast put on during New Year’s Eve includes a leg of pork (pierna de cerdo). It is believed to be necessary to have as the main course served. I know that my husband, Darren would be over the moon if it was a turkey leg.
Gotta love the traditions from all over the world! Our family had such a great time at our ‘BEACH NEW YEAR’S PARTY’!
’till next time:
Sarah, Darren and the Kids.