Even though it won’t be a white Christmas; the holiday spirit is not far away during the last weeks of the year here in Dominical. Just like in most parts of the world, it is an important thing to be spending time with your family around the dinner table and enjoy all kinds of meals together. These meals however are different from the traditional American stuffed turkey. Even during Christmas there will be, of course, served a lot of rice a beans! Also tortillas are a well known meal. But the most traditional food during Christmas is tamales. This is a dish made of corn-based dough, which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. Tamales can be filled with all kinds of stuff like meat, cheese, chicken or vegetables.
In lots of houses you will also find a Christmas tree, under which will be presents for everybody. Besides this, Costa Ricans also like playing Amigo Invisible (invisible friend). In this game people give each other presents, without knowing who gives to whom. The giver of the present can give hints to the receiver about his identity by sending letters about their feelings about the other. As a visitor to Costa Rica, during the holidays it is nice to visit San Isidro (near Dominical) for the Christmas market. It’s also recommended to go to Zapote’s Fair. This has roller coasters, dancing music, bars, fireworks and bull runs. Especially bull runs (Costa Rican-style bullfights) are a tradition during the last weeks of the year.
Also the religion in Costa Rica is part of Christmas. As in many Catholic countries, scenes with figurines of Maria, Joseph, the wise men and the animals are a standard Christmas decoration. Offerings such as fruits and little toys are placed in front of the scene. Of course also Villas Rio Mar in Dominical participates in these Christmas activities. During these days, the hotel offers a special dinner and the whole place is nicely decorated. In Dominical itself, there will be all kinds of parties and events in the restaurants and clubs.
After Santa leaves the beaches of Costa Rica, New Year is coming. Dominical is a nice place to spend your last hours of 2012. This year Villas Rio Mar plans to have live music and fireworks. You can also enjoy lots of parties in the area and most years some fireworks are arranged by locals on the beach. Another activity during the end of the year is Festival De La Luz in San Jose. During this festival of lights there will be a beautiful floats parade, masquerades, live music and fireworks. Also foreign artists will make a street performance doing open air theater and the best bands of the country will entertain you with music.
So as you can see, Costa Rica and especially Dominical and area have a lot to offer during December. If you’re not coming this year, you should definitely put in on your list as your new year’s resolution!
By Irene Swart