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Costa Rica is a country with strong traditions. One tradition that is ingrained in Ticos is that they are especially friendly and hospitable towards foreigners and often invite them to family gatherings or celebrations.

In colonial times, Costa Rica was highly influenced by Spanish traditions. Since Spain was a Catholic nation the Catholic religion had a heavy influence over traditions. In fact, many current day traditions in Costa Rica mainly come from the Catholic religion. Many of the major traditions related to religion include: Holy Week, Christmas, August 2nd, baptisms, first communions, confirmation, engagement parties, weddings and funerals. These types of events include all members of the immediate family, the majority of members of the extended family, and several neighbors and friends. Traditions in Costa Rica revolve around the tight knit bonds of the family structure. These are traditions that are recognized, taught, and practiced from birth until death.

Of course with traditions come the celebration of different holidays in Costa Rica. Usually during Holy Week (Semana Santa), mothers in the household use a sweet squash-like filling to create empanadas and other pastries. At Christmas (Navidad) many families get together to create an assembly line for preparing meals.

Traditionally, Costa Ricans do not go out to live on their own until they are formally married. It is very rare to see a young man or woman living alone or working to gain independence. Traditions are also shaped by gender differences. In Costa Rica there is an underlying male chauvinism which they refer to as "machismo.” Men and women are expected to act differently from each other and to respect their roles. A large proportion of Costa Rican women are professionals and hold important positions in both businesses and the government, but they still retain some traits that are traditional and conservative. Even if a woman holds a high position, they still cook, clean, and raise the children.

Other than these traditions, Costa Ricans, especially younger generations, are adopting more and more cultural aspects from North American influences from Canada and in particular the US. This is also a result of many ex-patriots (expats) from these countries relocating to Costa Rica and also just the influence of capitalism trying to create new holidays for consumption. A great example of this is the adoption of Halloween. Just a few years ago Halloween was considered a holiday dedicated to the devil and was not announced, celebrated, and even stores did not sell items related to Halloween. Now, things have changed and the younger generations see that Halloween is just another reason to get together with friends and have a good time. It is no longer seen as a devil’s day but as a day to dress up and have a good time. Some neighborhoods have even adopted trick or treating for their children.

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