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Guanacaste Day – July 25, 2023

Guanacaste Day is celebrated on July 25 every year in Costa Rica. The holiday commemorates the day that Guanacaste became a province of Costa Rica, on July 25, 1824. Before this, Guanacaste was part of the nation of Nicaragua. At the time, Nicaragua was plagued by civil war, and Guanacaste asked the Central American Federation to be annexed to Costa Rica. Guanacaste lies in the northwest of Costa Rica and has made significant contributions to the nation in the areas of food, agriculture, and entertainment. Although Guanacaste Day celebrates a serious historical occurrence, the day is celebrated with a lot of pomp and pageantry, as concerts, fireworks, and folk dances take up the streets.

History of Guanacaste Day

On July 25, 1824, the Federal Republic of Central America — of which Costa Rica was a part — passed a law that effectively annexed Guanacaste as a province of Costa Rica. Citizens celebrate Guanacaste Day annually on July 25 with parades, music, food, and more. Formally, the holiday is known as ‘la Anexion del Partido de Nicoya,’ meaning ‘The Annexation of Guanacaste.’ Guanacaste, which initially belonged to the nation of Nicaragua, was made up of three regions, namely Nicoya, Santa Cruz, and Liberia (formerly Villa de Guanacaste). After a series of discussions, all three regions held a referendum to decide whether to become part of Costa Rica. While Nicoya and Santa Cruz voted ‘yes,’ Liberia voted ‘no.’ However, the majority carried the vote, and Guanacaste joined Costa Rica as a province.

Today, Guanacaste is considered one of Costa Rica’s most important tourism destinations and has even been tagged the ‘Gold Coast of Central America.’ The region is a key contributor in producing crops such as rice, sorghum, and sugar cane. It also has a cultural heritage of cattle ranching. Guanacaste has made significant cultural contributions to Costa Rica, particularly in the music space, as Guanacaste folklore music has impacted Costa Rican music. Additionally, tortillas and ‘bizcochos’ are said to originate from Guanacaste.

Guanacaste Day is an official holiday in Costa Rica but is celebrated most grandly in Guanacaste. The streets are usually filled with arts, crafts, and stalls selling traditional Costa Rican food. While fireworks, folk dances, and concerts occur, most businesses remain closed.

Guanacaste Day timeline

1812
Nicoya Becomes a Distinct Territory

The Spanish Constitution splits the Kingdom of Guatemala into separate entities, Nicoya being one of them.

1820
Nicoya Forms an Alignment

Nicoya aligns with Costa Rica to send a delegation to the Cadiz Cortes.

1821
Costa Rica Gains Independence

Costa Rica gains independence from Spain.

1824
Guanacaste is Annexed

Guanacaste becomes a province of Costa Rica.

Guanacaste Day FAQs

Why is Guanacaste important?

The Costa Rican province is one of the country’s most important tourist destinations and is a producer of rice, sugar cane, sorghum, various crops, and livestock.

What are fun facts about Costa Rica?

Did you know? Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world. They have over 500,000 wildlife species, and the country has over 200 volcano-type formations.

What ocean is Guanacaste Costa Rica?

The beautiful province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica is located along the Pacific Ocean coast. The province is fondly known as the ‘Gold Coast of Central America.’

Guanacaste Day Activities

  1. Learn more about Costa Rica

    Do some research about Costa Rica and learn about the fascinating culture and history. You might just find yourself scheduling a trip there sometime soon!

  2. Post a picture of Guanacaste’s flag

    Post a picture of Guanacaste’s flag online with a nice caption. The flag contains horizontal blue, white, and red stripes with a red triangle. This act sends love and well wishes to the people of Guanacaste on their special day.

  3. Sample Costa Rican cuisine

    In keeping with the festive theme of the day, give your palate a reason to dance by sampling some Costa Rican food! Visit a restaurant that serves Costa Rican food or try your hand at an online recipe.

5 Facts You Didn't Know About Costa Rica

  1. Nicoya is a ‘Blue Zone’

    The region of Nicoya is one of the five ‘blue zones’ in the world, meaning that many people in Nicoya live past the age of 100.

  2. 5% of the world’s biodiversity

    Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity or varieties of life on earth — from plants to animals and other life forms.

  3. Costa Rica’s Whale Bay

    When viewed from above, ‘Bahia Ballena’ or Whale Bay is shaped like a whale’s tail.

  4. Costa Rica has no army

    Costa Rica hasn’t had an army since 1948.

  5. A hub of renewable energy

    Nearly all (99%) of Costa Rica’s power is generated from solar energy, hydropower, geothermal energy, biomass, and wind.

Why We Love Guanacaste Day

  1. It provides an opportunity for celebration

    Guanacaste Day gives the people of Guanacaste an opportunity to celebrate and gather together in felicitation. The national holiday also offers people the chance to relax before returning to the grind and hustle of a regular day.

  2. It celebrates Guanacaste roots

    History is a significant part of people’s cultural life and posterity. Guanacaste Day provides an opportunity for open discussion on the region’s history.

  3. It promotes unity

    Guanacaste Day celebrates Guanacaste’s unification with Costa Rica. What makes this even more wonderful is that the province and nation are still at peace after hundreds of years.

Guanacaste Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 25Tuesday
2024July 25Thursday
2025July 25Friday
2026July 25Saturday
2027July 25Sunday

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