The holidays are not over. In fact, a Costa Rican holiday that is second only to Christmas for some is Aug. 15.
This is the Día de la Madre. The day also is the religious holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. So there is no surprise that this also is a legal holiday.
Unlike in North America where children can pass off Mother’s Day with some flowers and a box of candy, the day is taken really seriously here. For many Costa Ricans the mother is the real head of the household while the father is off doing manly things and is more detached from the lives of the youngsters.
The religious fusion is appropriate because many children see their mother in a spiritual light. And the Virgin Mary dominates religious life, as witnessed by the 2.5 million who completed a pilgrimage to the basilica in Cartago last week.
For expats, the day a week from Friday means another one where employees are paid for not working. This is obligatory.
There also is a good chance that a table at a favorite restaurant will be hard to get.
Taking Mother to lunch or dinner is traditional, and progressive restaurants make commercial pitches to attract customers.
There also will be special sales of big ticket household items, and the nation’s consumer agency will abruptly point out that merchants have jacked up the prices.