Simón Bolívar zoo plans two Christmas events this month

The San José zoo is offering Christmas tales and a posadas procession this month. Las posadas is a celebration rooted in Catholicism from Spanish culture that represents the nine months that Mary carried Jesus and the search by the holy couple seeking lodgings in Bethlehem.

A person carrying a lantern leads a group from house to house where residents pretending to be innkeepers sing songs and deny lodgings or posadas. At the end of the procession, the group goes to one house where they can enter and enjoy food and perhaps a piñata. The guests also pray around the house portal or nativity scene.

The zoo event is Dec. 16, but Costa Ricans and others in the Spanish-speaking world will be engaged in the tradition until Christmas Day.

“As we approach the end of the year, Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar is offering a space that families can enjoy this special time in the midst of nature and
recall the Christmas spirit which characterizes Costa Ricans,” said a release.

Christmas tales at the zoo will be Sunday at 11 a.m. The book of Costa Rican tales, “Campanitas Navideñas,” will be presented. Translated to “Jingle Bells,” the book is a collection of Costa Rican children stories based on Christmas traditions and values like family love, kindness, and the respect of nature, said the publisher Editorial Sobrevuelo on its Web site.
Artist Teresita Borge will participate and Eduardo Bolaños will supply Christmas carols.

The traditional Christmas posadas will be Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. and will include the participation of the community of Barrio Amon, and the nuns of the Oblatas al Divino Amor. The children’s choir from the Infantil del Oratorio Don Bosco will perform Christmas classics.

The zoo in north San José is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admissions are 1,600 colons for children ages 3 to 12, 2,300 colons for adults, 1,600 colons for seniors and free for children under 3 years of age.

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