Friday, Saturday and Sunday are for the kids. Saturday is el Día del Niño (Children’s Day) in Costa Rica. The day is not exactly a legal holiday but festivities honoring the nation’s children will be part of school activities Friday.
Parents and close family members will be preparing small presents to be distributed Saturday.
Friday public schools and some private ones will have fiestas for the students in anticipation of the next day. Children’s day is always Sept. 9, but this year the date fell on a Saturday.
The most universal celebration will be in individual homes. This is not Christmas, so presents will be modest. But there will be lots of candy and other treats and perhaps a fiesta with cake and ice cream and maybe even a piñata.
For expats, a small gift, creative but not expensive, is traditional for young family members, children of employees and perhaps children of neighbors, depending on the relationship.
If you have children, you will have birthday parties. This particular weekend we had 2 parties in one day at the same time. Time to clone the kids so you can make it to both without offending anyone. The thing about the parties here are that EVERYONE comes….the parents, the siblings and sometimes even the cousins. Parties are so much different here from what I remember in the states. Of course there has to be a theme, easy enough but then it gets complicated…you must have 2 menu’s, one for the children (usually hamburgers, hot dogs or old faithful pizza) then a sit down dinner for the parents (rice/chicken or something like it). Imagine 20-30 kids plus all their family. You need a lot of space and a LOT of patience to pull this off. Thank goodness some things are cheaper here than in the US so you don’t need to take out a loan to give a birthday party, even one as extravagant as I have described.
Two of my children are getting into their tweens so it’s not cool for mom to stay at the party THANK GOD!!! I much prefer the drop offs where you don’t have to make conversation for 3 hours with people you don’t know and often don’t speak the same language. Don’t get me wrong…people here are very sweet and very accomodating to those of us that are not completely fluent in the language but it can still be very uncomfortable to be in this type of situation for several hours when you would much rather be doing something else…anything else.
At any rate…the children do have fun and we are creating memories so I guess it’s worth it.