The kids are a little bummed, but there won’t be any festivities here tonight. Ticos (Costa Ricans) don’t celebrate Halloween. And what is most sad is the “bad” Americans who have ruined it for the rest of us.
Costa Rica does have what is called “Noche de Brujas,” or Night of the Witches. There are sometimes local festivals with Costa Rican traditional masks in parades, but nothing on the scale of the US. The ugliest part is the Tico view of how the US celebrates this evening. One man stated in a newspaper this morning that this holiday we “enjoy has no real connection with the deceased or Costa Rican culture in general and is instead about destruction, and destructive behavior. The people drink whiskey and smoke drugs and it makes them crazy, then they come to the cemetery and break crucifixes and destroy the graves.”
Another reason we aren’t celebrating is since Halloween and Thanksgiving are not holidays observed here, it is difficult to find fall/harvest decorations like those in the United States. The pumpkins here aren’t the typical “orange” jack-o-lantern material either. They taste similar, and you can carve them; it just doesn’t have the same feel.
Christians’ views of this evening vary widely. We’ve always celebrated in the past, some years we would either trick or treat in the neighborhood or attend church fall festivals if they were available. Many of the Costa Ricans I know have expressed similar sentiments as one woman did in the article mentioned above, “We need to pay attention to the pretty things — not monsters, devils, witches and things that do damage.” So, whatever you do this evening, I wish you a Happy Halloween. Oh, and today is my parents’ anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
I may make a cake tonight for the kids, but that’s about it.