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Celebrate Halloween at Los Sueños Resort, Costa Rica

halloween golf carts Los Sueños Resort

Halloween is scary fun at Los Sueños Resort, Costa Rica

kids dressed for halloween at Los Sueños Marina VillageHalloween can be a special kind of fun at Los Sueños Resort & Marina; a tropical vacation and all the fun of trick or treating, costume contests (for the young and the old) and Halloween tricks, treats and parties too. Every year the Los Sueños Resort team does a great job of putting together events for the young and the young at heart alike. Here are a few tips for having great fun on your Halloween vacation at Los Sueños.

Kid’s Halloween Fun at Los Sueños

  • Book a golf cart in advance for trick or treating with the kids. Los Sueños Resort is a pretty big place, so you’ll want to have a golf cart for getting around. Most people like to decorate their carts with spider webs and other hauntingly fun Halloween decorations.

 

  • Don’t plan to go door to door for trick or treating. Most communities are closed. However, the guards at each community gate all have plenty of candy! You’ll make your way around the resort and stop at each community entry so the kids can yell, “trick or treat!” or Costa Rica’s equivalent: “Halloween, Halloween!”

 

  • Be sure to put as much effort into great costumes as you would at home; but this time you can skip the warmth factor. Remember it’s hot and humid, so plan accordingly. Last year I dressed my grandson up as the Hulk and all his body paint melted off by the end of the day! He still looked pretty darn cute, though…

 

  • After you’ve made the candy rounds in the resort, head for the Marina Village. There will be plenty of candy at all the shops, offices and locations.

 

  • At the end of the day, its time for the costume contest. Typically this is held at the Hook Up around 5pm, where the adults can have a drink while the kids line up to see who takes the prize. You can always find the details of events on HRG’s Facebook page, or that of Los Sueños Resort.

 

  • Last but not least, head back to your vacation rental condo or villa, get some real food into the kids before they dive into that candy (Don’t cook- order in!), and then leave them with the sitter (remember the team at HRG can help you arrange for one!) to go get ready for your own party.

 

Adult Halloween Fun at Los Sueños

 

  • You may be planning on doing a little drinking this All Hallows Eve, so maybe skip the golf cart and opt for a private driver or a taxi. Your HRG concierge can arrange either for you.  It’s just as important to drink responsibly in Costa Rica as it is in the States! Stay safe and have a scarily fun evening.

 

  • Every year Los Sueños Resort holds a great Halloween costume contest for the adults too, so be sure to put as much thought and creativity into your disguise as you would back home. Remember, same tip applies for adults as it does for kids: Plan for hot and humid weather; great news for those going for that “sexiest costume” prize, as well as minimizing packing weight for that flight down to Costa Rica!

Halloween in Costa Rica can be great fun; this year it falls on a Monday, so why not plan now for a 3 or 4 day weekend and head on down to Los Sueños Resort?

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Halloween in Costa Rica

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Día de la Mascarada is Our Version of  Halloween in Costa Rica

 

halloweenThough Halloween is becoming increasingly popular in Costa Rica, October 31st is traditionally celebrated as Día de la Mascarada, or Day of the Masquerade. While more and more expats are making their home in the country and Halloween is continuing to become a more mainstream holiday, Día de la Mascarada celebrations take the festivity forefront.

With roots in the Spanish Carnival, Día de la Mascarada is known for its parades featuring large, masked characters, music, clowns, and dancing. While the Spaniards brought the costumed celebration to Costa Rica, it wasn’t an official holiday until 1996, when the Ministry of Culture established Día de la Mascarada Tradicional Costarricense as an annual parade.

The masks are created in the visage of famous characters, political figures, and national heroes, and are made using a papier-mâché like process. “The bigger the better” is the goal when it comes to the giant masks, or “masquerades.” One of the most striking types of masks seen, these large masks are mounted on bamboo or wire, often engulfing the wearer’s entire body. You’ll likely see represented the Devil, Death, the Witch, and even La Llorona, a terrifying local legend.

In addition to the parades, Costa Rican culture is celebrated during the national festivities, with educational activities, the procession and display of masks, and tributes to leading mask makers. You’ll also find food, fireworks, and many chances to listen to local music, both traditional folk and current.

Masked participants will parade down the street in most major cities, dancing and sometimes chasing on-lookers along the way. Accompanying the process are Maroons, small bands of amateur musicians who are usually self-taught. They generally compose their own music, none of which is committed to the page, but rather passed down and taught by ear.

Traditionally a pagan holiday, the Halloween we know in the United States never really took root in the predominately Catholic Costa Rica, though it has steadily been gaining popularity over the years. While not seen as a mainstream holiday quite yet, Halloween is being celebrated more and more often with costume parties taking place in people’s homes and in various bars and discotheques, and is seen as more of an opportunity to get together rather than an excuse to go door-to-door begging for candy.

If you’ll be near San Jose, you may want to participate in the annual Zombie Walk, where you can dress as either a survivor or a zombie, and gather with the horde on a different kind of parade, shuffling through the streets and trying to frighten passers-by. The Zombie Parade is an example of how Ticos are adopting more mainstream Halloween activities, and is gaining in popularity each year.

Whether you choose to participate in Día de la Mascarada, Halloween, or both, you’ll have no shortage of ways to celebrate come this October 31st.

 

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Halloween in Costa Rica

Dia de la Mascarada: Costa Rica’s Version of Halloween

mascaradaHalloween in Costa Rica isn’t called Halloween. In the United States, October 31st is Halloween. In Costa Rica, October 31st is called “Dia de la Mascarada”, Day of the Masquerade. Costa Ricans celebrate this day in a couple of ways. Expatriates from the United States celebrate Halloween in a North American way with jack-o-lanterns, trick or treating and costume parties.

 

Ticos (native Costa Ricans) observe the expatriates Halloween traditions as foreign, and instead of the pumpkins and candy, they have used the time of year to revive the traditional Costa Rican Dia de la Mascarada.

Dia de la Mascarada originated as an adaption of Carnival. The Spaniards brought their costumed holiday, Carnival, and its masquerade dances to South and Central America. Costumes had always been part of the Pura Vida (Costa Rican) traditions, and this was a logical evolution. Costumes have been worn at all sorts of celebrations including birthdays, holidays and marriage ceremonies. Carnival became Dia de la Mascarada. In 1996, these cultural traditions had begun to fade away until a cultural committee decide to bring Pura Vida to the expats invading tradition; Halloween. It was in 1996 that the first traditional Pura Vida annual masquerade parade was held. The next year, the government established the annual parade as the Dia dal Mascarada Tradicional Costarricense. What a mouthful! In English that means, “Traditional Costa Rican Masquerade”.

The Masquerade Parade has become an opportunity for local artists to express themselves through the costumes. Each costume is known simply as a “masquerade”. Each masquerade has a head and a body. Each head is made from layers of glue and newspaper sheets that are dried in the sunshine. They are very similar to paper mache’ piñatas. These piñatas are made into humongous helmet-like heads. The heads are crafted representing a variety of characters. Skilled local artisans spend weeks preparing the masquerade costumes. The costumes represent:

  • Mythical characters
  • Social stereotypes
  • Imaginary characters
  • Saterized political figures
  • Actual political figures
  • National and internationally famous people
  • Famous journalists
  • Models
  • Soccer players
  • Actors

There are three characters that are not to be missed. They have been so popular that they have become part of the culture:

  • “La giganta” (The Giant Woman)
  • “La calavera” (The Skull)
  • “El diablillo” (The Little Devil)

The masquerade heads can take days to dry in the sun so that they are dry enough to be painted. When the painted heads are completed and further dried, a wire skeleton “body” is created to hold up the head. The masqueraders commonly walk the parade on stilts adding to the magnificent spectacle each character presents.

When the parade is over, spectators, comparasas and masqueraders alike mingle on the streets, browsing the street vendor’s food offerings and enjoying foods like:

  • Salvadorian pupusas (flatbreads stuffed with cheese and meat)
  • Jamaican jerk chicken on a stick
  • Argentinean empanadas (corn fritters stuffed with meat)
  • $.20 pipas (Pipas are fresh young coconuts that are taken straight from an ice bath. The street vendor then chops off the top of the coconut with a machete, pierces the flesh with a straw and you enjoy a delicious refreshing coconut drink!)
  • If dessert is what you are looking for, find the street vendors offering granizados and copos. These are a combination of condensed or powdered milk, flavored syrup and a mountain of shaved ice. Such a delicious treat on a hot Costa Rican day!

As an expat myself, I have enjoyed these colorful festivities every year that I have lived here. The parades are full of many people wearing their masquerades and dancing. The music is provided by groups of musicians walking with them, playing cymbals, trumpets and drums. These “comparsas” (groups of musicians) provide the excitement for the whole crowd. Imagine the rousing marching band songs with a Pura Vida flair playing one after the other.

Dia de la Masquerade is just as exciting as an American Halloween.

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