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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated in Costa Rica this year

There is nothing like the Thanksgiving celebration for every US and Canadian household. It is a day filled with unbelievable food, the warm company of friends, family and loved ones, and a special moment to reflect and be thankful for the blessings received. Parades and other events are also hosted, to celebrate and remember the importance of this day.

Inspired by the spirit of kindness and the important values that shape Thanksgiving, the Costa Rican Congress decided to approve in a first debate a Bill of Law to declare the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.

Jonathan Prendas, Congressman responsible for promoting said project, specified they hope to “strengthen family values and peaceful coexistence in the country.” Also, with the approval of this Bill of Law, “the idea is to attract more tourists to national soil, as visitors could commemorate their holiday.”

While this won’t be a holiday for Costa Ricans, the political parties that supported the idea, expect to rekindle the spirit of union and build a more harmonious. They believe commemorating this day, will encourage people to unite and rejoice.

“This afternoon the project to declare the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day was approved. Its purpose is to attract to Costa Rica thousands of Americans who celebrate that date outside their country, to boost tourism,” added Prendas.

Surely, Thanksgiving is very popular in the country, given the large community of foreigners. Although some may opt for the Costa Rican version of a Thanksgiving meal, the holiday doesn’t go unnoticed.

This proposal has ignited some controversy: several people believe that, given the historical reason for the celebration, it is not appropriate to honor this day in the country. On this particular matter, The Ministry of Culture and Youth, issued a public statement saying this is “unrelated and independent of Costa Rica’s rich, diverse and unique traditions.”

For the Ministry, “the adoption and implementation in Costa Rica of the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, by means of a law, implies emptying the true meaning of this tradition, not only because of its implementation outside its original context, but also because it influences and imposes on the Costa Rican population a practice that is not part of its history, traditions, knowledge and ancestral wisdom.”

In reality, for quite some time now, the holiday has grown in popularity amongst ticos. Hotels and restaurants often offer Thanksgiving meals and host events for those interested. Though not everyone comprehends the history behind the fête, most are drawn by the profound significance of giving thanks and being grateful.

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