Each country has its different traditions to celebrate the New Year’s coming, and, in this case, Costa Rica has them and enjoys them.
Normally, the families in our country are joining to wait for the New Year together, or they can join with close friends. Generally, there is a formal dinner before 12 midnight or exactly at that time.
Some traditional dishes are pork haunch, or pork ham cooked in the oven, pork rind and cassava, rice with almonds, rice with chicken, potato salad with apple, or well the “tico tamales” (corn dough mixture with other ingredients) depending on the preference, it can be with pork, chicken, or only with vegetables. Some people drink the traditional national beers, or the people can toast during the dinner with a common wine or sparkling wine that they prefer. The desserts’ variety is always present in the table, having only one dessert is not normal, there can be three or more sweet dishes to be shared.
It is common in many homes that, when the New Year is arriving, the families use in their neighborhoods or gardens easy managing fireworks. In the same way, in some places, the karaoke and music are tradition in this date with the external lights of the houses and those lights of the manger (Spanish “pesebre”, also known as “pasito” in Costa Rica). In many houses, the hours, the minutes, and seconds are taken off before the New Year listening to the famous radio program called “Radio Reloj” (Clock Radio). The same one offers typical songs regarding the year’s ending. Other people also watch the bullfights on TV, these ones are carried on at the famous Zapote’s bullring.
When the midnight arrives and the New Year is received, many people say a prayer taking their hands, according to their religion. They can also embrace them and kiss among them.
Many of them also cry about things they lost, but, they are also getting full of enthusiasm and fortitude for all the new things that are coming and that must be received.
The next day, on January, 1st, it is a tradition that many families go to travel around shortly, like making a picnic in a park or in an area that is available for this, because the distances are short to get to those places.
In this travel of familiar picnic, many people visit the zones where there is a lilac-colored-flower called “Santa Lucía.” They keep it in their wallets or change purses because it symbolizes enough money for the entire year. Some people also take profit of the beautiful landscapes where this lilac-colored-flower is found to take personal pictures that will be posted on their social networks in the year beginning. Other people, pick up a good number of these flowers to share it later with other relatives.
In the same way, using new underwear, specially yellow underwear, is pleasant for many people to be lucky. Many parents buy a yellow underwear garment to wear it for the first time.
Happy New Year 2021 from Costa Rica, full of Health and Prosperity!
*The Picnic is a family custom in some homes to celebrate the New Year.