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Ticos and residents are facing a long haul to the next big holiday.

Holy Week, the week preceding Easter, is another time when businesses and government offices close and many go to the beach. The country’s commercial sector is still trying to recover from a 10- to 12-day Christmas break.

However, Easter this year is a long way off: April 24. It is just one day short of the latest possible time for Easter Sunday. The day is based on the March equinox and the full moon.

So residents here will have to guard their strength because the next long vacation is more than three months away.
By contrast, Easter was April 4 last year.

Although a new voting law abolished rules preventing the
sale of alcohol around the general elections, the prohibition against selling alcohol on Holy Thursday and Good Friday remains in force.

The Easter season begins this year March 9, which is Ash Wednesday in the Roman Catholic tradition. That day introduces a period of reflection and repentance up until Easter Sunday, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Church pageants during the week provide fodder for tourists’ cameras.

For those in the tourism industry, Easter marks the transition from the high season to tourism fueled by summer vacations in the United States and Canada. Summer tourism is heavy in students and school teachers, who are not traditionally big spenders.

Easter also usually marks the beginning of the rainy season.

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