Wednesday begins countdown to Semana Santa

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday in Christian tradition. The day represents the start of Lent, a period of reflection, fasting and prayer leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Easter is April 20 this year.

Aside from the religious significance, business people have to adjust their schedule because at least the Thursday and Friday before Easter are holidays. And for many in government and private industry, the entire week, Semana Santa, is a holiday.

That means business will not be as usual. In fact, it might not be at all.

For the tourist industry, this is a big season, although many Costa Ricans have a way of finding either a relative or a place to pitch a tent at the beaches.

Costa Rica does not have the carnival tradition of other Latin countries. Brazil, Venezuela and even New Orleans are celebrating in anticipation of the restrictions of the 40 days of Lent.

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