The celebrations in Cartago do not end with the annual pilgrimage to the basilica there. The tenth annual Festival de La Pasada is coming up this Saturday and Sunday.
The unique aspect of this festival is that the faithful construct carpets of flowers for the procession that brings the small statue of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles back to the basilica. The statue has been on display at another Cartago church, the Catedral Nuestra Señora del Carmen, since Aug. 3, the day after the end of the pilgrimage.
The festival may be just 10 years old, but the procession has been going on since the end of the 18th century.
Now the festival is two days with the procession over the floral carpets coming Sunday. The Cámara de Comercio, Industria, Turismo y Servicios de Cartago and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo sponsor the festival. Some 60,000 persons are expected to attend, and 75 Cartago businesses will be displaying their wares, said the chamber.
The festival is in the Plaza Mayor of Cartago at the Ruinas del Templo de Santiago Apóstol. Tents will be set up for vendors. There will be food, dancing, performances by well-known Costa Rican bands, mascaradas, cimarronas street bands, plus the religious procession Sunday.
Creating the carpets of flowers is a contest, and the chamber gives prizes to the three best, it said.