Mid-year vacation ended Sunday, and students are back at their desks today. Anyone lucky enough to have had two weeks off also is supposed to return today.
But not for long. There is a legal holiday in nine days, the Anexión del Partido de Nicoya a Costa Rica. The day is Thursday, July 25, and may public employees will be able to take off the following Friday for a four-day weekend.
Then eight days later, Aug. 2, is the Día de la Virgen de los Ángeles. The day is a Friday, so there is a three-day weekend. But there is more. This is the holiday when the faithful, more than a million of them, take a pilgrimage on foot from their homes to the basilica in Cartago. Some walk from Nicaragua or Panamá.
A good time to start the pilgrimage and avoid the end-of-month rush would be July 25. So pilgrims, known asromeros, will be on the road at least a week before Aug. 2. The real crush is Aug. 1 when many in the metro area head for Cartago to be there for the religious ceremonies the morning of Aug. 2.
This year, valley train officials said they would be ready to take home pilgrims after the ceremony. Many will consider taking the train to Cartago to be cheating. The Catholic Church has not yet weighed in on this issue.
After the blisters and the sore muscles heal, there is a third legal holiday Aug. 15. This is the Día de la Madre and the religious festival of the Asunción de la Virgen. The day is a Thursday this year, so many might engineer a four-day weekend.
Mother’s day is a major event in Costa Rica with the family matriarch being showered with gifts and dinners.
Correos de Costa Rica came out with another special mother’s day deal Friday. Instead of just a card, the postal service says this year it can deliver a small box filled with candy anywhere in the country Aug. 14, the day before the holiday.
The box bears the legend Feliz día with the postal service logo. The cost is 2,000 colons for the box, candy and delivery.
The postal service also will deliver an empty box to an international address for the same price. Correos said that various rules elsewhere restrict sending candy.