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HomeArts & CultureCosta Rica Christmas and New Year’s Expressions

Costa Rica Christmas and New Year’s Expressions

A visit to Costa during the Christmas holidays can you tell you a lot about Costa Rican culture and people.

There are so many expressions used during this time of year that you probably won’t be able to remember them all. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!

In this post, we’ll look at the most commonly used words and expressions used in Costa Rica and the closest English translation.

Costa Rica Christmas Words and Expressions

El Agüizote: Agúizotes (ah-gee-so-tays) are a tradition in Costa Rica and many Latin American countries. They can be defined as a superstitious belief. For example, eating twelve grapes at midnight. Or if you want to travel next year, put your suitcases (maletas) by the door or walk around the block dragging one of them (hopefully it has wheels).

El Árbol de Navidad: Christmas tree

Los adornos: Christmas decorations

El Día de Navidad: Christmas Day

¡Felices fiestas o Felices Pascuas!: Happy Holidays

¡Feliz Navidad!: Merry Christmas!

¡Te deseo una feliz Navidad!: I wish you a Merry Christmas!

¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo!: Merry Christmas and a Happy (Prosperous) New Year!

El Muérdago: Mistletoe

La Nochebuena: Christmas Eve

El portal, paso or nacimiento: Nativity scene

Rompope: Eggnog

New Year’s Spanish Expressions:

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!: Happy New Year!

Recibir el Año Nuevo: See in the New Year

Despedir el Año Nuevo: See out the old year

El Día de Año Nuevo: New Year’s Day

La Víspera de Año Nuevo: New Year’s Eve

Año Nuevo, vida nueva: New year, new life

A cada pavo le llega su Navidad: Sooner or later you pay for the consequences of your bad acts. In many Spanish speaking counties, a pig is sacrificed on Christmas.

About the Author

Christopher Howard has been conducting monthly relocation/retirement tours and writing retirement guidebooks for more than 30 years.

He has a #1 relocation/retirement blog at:, is also the author of the updated edition of “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica — the official guide to relocation” and the one-of-a-kind bestselling e-book, “Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” that can be purchased through Amazon.

This article first approached in 2021 but the expressions are timeless.

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