Christmas and New Year’s Day bring beautiful traditions that Costaricans celebrate with their families and friends. These traditions bring new words and phrases to learn and use in Spanish, for instance “Feliz Navidad” which means Merry Christmas and “Feliz Año Nuevo” that means Happy New Year. Also, other words that are common to use for these days are “el Pasito o el Portal” a Nativity scence, “tamales” a traditional costarican dish,“rompope” means eggnog and “villancicos” carols.
In December most Costaricans decorate their houses and their Christmas tree, Christmas with decorations and twinkling lights. Also, they put a Nativity scene in their living room or porch, and the tradition is to put the baby Jesús in on december 25th.
Another tradition in Costa Rica is to prepare special traditional food for these days, for example, “tamales”. Tamales are made with instant corn masa, pork shoulder or boneless chicken, potatoes, rice,sweet pepper,garlic,achiote (anniato),oil,salt,black pepper,oregano; all wrapped in banana leaves. Families get together and help with the process to cook them. Families also prepare a traditional drink for these holidays called eggnog. The ingredients that many Costaricans use are liquid and evaporated milk, egg whites, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and sometimes a little bit of rum or whisky.
Finally another tradition in Costa Rica is to listen to carols in Spanish. These melodies bring happiness to all families.
If you are interested in learning Spanish and want to learn about our traditions, we offer Spanish packages to help you feel immersed in our culture. Feel free to send us an email with any questions you may have and we will be more than glad to help you with any information you need.