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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Costa Rica > San Jose

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Día del Boyero

Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Costa Rican culture is the carreta (ox cart), used for ploughing, transportation, and in this case, parades. The hand-hewn wooden carts with their oversized wheels are traditionally painted with colourful mandalas and other elaborate patterns. Every second Sunday in March, scores ox carts, some of them painted to perfection and others purely utilitarian, make their annual agrarian pilgrimage to the city of Escazú.

Date: 10 March 2019 - 10 March 2019
Venue: Escazú, 7km (4mi) from San José.
Cost:

Free


Día de la Independencia

The entire isthmus celebrates Central American Independence on September 15, declared in 1821 by the Colonial capital in Antigua, Guatemala. The sleepy, agricultural backwater of Cartago, then the Costa Rican capital, didn’t get the news until a month later. Regardless, San José celebrates independence in style, beginning with the arrival of Freedom Torch on the evening of 14 September, and continuing with parades, live music, and lots of fireworks for the next 24 hours.

Date: 15 September 2019 - 15 September 2019

Las Fiestas de Zapote

This pleasant working-class neighbourhood puts on the capital’s favourite urban fiestas, most famous for their endless topes (horse parades), which bring out the finest steeds in the Central Valley. Las Fiestas are also known for Costa Rican-style “bull fights,” where bulls aren’t killed, but rather allowed to run with locals brave enough to try to touch the beast – sometimes getting hurt in the process. Zapote also brings in top international performers, many from Mexico.

Date: 25 December 2019 - 05 January 2020
Venue: Zapote.
Cost:

Free.