Sunday is a day for bueyes, boyeros, oxcarts and tourists with cameras

This is the weekend for oxcarts, oxen and their handlers. The last Sunday in November always is the time for a gigantic parade bringing statues of saints into San José.

The handlers, boyeros, and their families always celebrate in Parque la Sabana the evening before in the open-air style of days gone by.

The gentle oxen or bueyes are about 1,800 pounds each, but they easily are handled by boys.

This is the 28th annual event this year, and President Luis Guillermo Solís is expected to be among the participants, although he probably does not own a pair of oxen. A lot of professionals do, however. And they hang up their suits on the weekend to participate in such parades with their animals. There still are a lot of oxen in use in day-to-day agriculture, too.

An estimated 300 oxen pairs and carts along with carriages and other conveyances and animals are expected in the parade up Paseo Colón and Avenida Secunda.

Not only is this a major Christmas season event, it also is a major tourism attraction.

The glory days of the oxen were in the mid-19th century when long lines of carts would carry the Central Valley’s coffee to the Puntarenas port.

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