July 25th, Annexation Day, is the most important cultural holiday in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, one of Costa Rica’s seven provinces. The annexation of Nicoya to Costa Rica is a historical event that refers to the incorporation of the territory of the “Partido de Nicoya” into the State of Costa Rica. It occurred on July 25, 1824. The celebration is an annual civic celebration in Costa Rica. Especially in Guanacaste this holiday is celebrated with a wide variety of cultural activities.
The main activities are carried out in small towns and cities such as Liberia, Nicoya and Santa Cruz. Cultural activities are held for a whole week. It is one of the most popular festivals in the whole country with concerts, parades, folk dances, bull riding, cultural activities, crafts, “bombas” and typical food are just some of the things that you can enjoy in the company of the locals and visitors. One of the main activities is the TOPE DE CABALLISTAS. A large number of horses from all parts of the country parade along the main avenue of the city. Thousands of people enjoy the horse show, which is accompanied by musical groups that make the event a very typical activity of Guanacaste.
Annexation Day is a time for “Guanacastecos” to showcase their proud cultural heritage as well as to honor the traditions passed down from their ancestors. One of these popular traditions is the “bombas”, a folkloric, humorous poem similar to a limerick. We are lucky to have Farid Nema, a nationally renowned folklorist on our staff. Every year he serves as Master of Ceremonies not only at Intercultura but also in the famous celebrations in Nicoya. He joins in hosting the activities and receiving Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado and the First Lady, Claudia Dobles.