Theater production will mark 10 years of boyero UNESCO designation

The culture ministry is pulling all the stops to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the international designation of the tradition of boyero.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization listed the oxcart tradition as intangible human heritage in 2005.

So Wednesday the ministry plans a big celebration. But oxen are not invited. The event will be in the Teatro Nacional.

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud is linking the celebration with the campout that oxcart drivers will hold Saturday in Parque La Sabana and the traditional oxcart parade Sunday in San José.

The event Wednesday will be at 5 p.m. with young musicians from San Ramón performing along with videos and poems and songs of the countryside, said the ministry.

Also sponsoring the event is the Asociación Boyera Costarricense.

The boyero or oxcart driver and the massive bueyes, the oxen, are an integral part of the country’s history. The government has even decreed that mention of the tradition be placed in the public school curriculum.

The oxcart was a major means of transportation through the early part of the 20th century. The brightly painted

The statue in the cart is of San Isidro Labrador, the patron of those in agriculture. The saint gets a ride on his liturgical feast day.

The statue in the cart is of San Isidro Labrador, the patron of those in agriculture. The saint gets a ride on his liturgical feast day.

carts and the unique painted wooden wheels now are emblematic of the country.

Starting at noon Saturday there will be demonstrations of boyero skills, dancing and stories at Parque la Sabana. Such an overnight gathering is called a sesteo in Spanish.

Sunday the oxcart parade is called the Entrada de los Santos because the carts will carry life-size wooden figures of Catholic saints.

The ministry now says that the parade will begin at 10 a.m., but early reports said 9 a.m. The time notwithstanding, the beginning of the parade always is determined by the the speed of organizing the carts.

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