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Costa Rica Independence Day

When: September 15 (all day event)

Where: Nationwide

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National holiday celebrating Costa Rica's independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. Patriotic Costa Ricans gather to sing the national anthem and light traditional candle lanterns. In Cartago, the country's first capital, President Laura Chinchilla will receive a torch carried from Guatemala as a symbol of independence throughout Central America. Festivities include marching bands and school children in traditional dress parading through the streets of cities and towns, carrying flags and singing patriotic songs.

Government offices and most businesses are closed for the holiday, and some roads in San Jose, Cartago and other major cities will be temporarily closed to accommodate local parades.

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