Christmas Celebrations in Atenas 2018

Here is the schedule of Christmas Festivities at Central Park Atenas with the stage being on government property across the street this year with park being remodeled. Lots of music and a lanterns parade at night plus more with vendor booths set up on the outer edges of the park  — remodeling not stopping the Christmas Spirit in Atenas! It will be HAPPY, HAPPY as always and I’m sorry I will miss it this year again as I am traveling for Christmas (Which is a very Tico thing to do!).     🙂

And they just added some more activities for Christmas:

If you click the above image it is larger in its original location

And that is the official Atenas Community fiestas. Every church has at least one Christmas Eve service and the big catholic church multiple masses both days. Many Tico families have 1 to 2 weeks vacation and travel to a beach, usually the week between Christmas and New Years (when most businesses are closed).

Expats vary a lot in what they do. Several always go home to the States, Canada or Europe for Christmas with family. Some have family come here. And the “Snow Birds” came here for  their Christmas or multi-months escape from snow and cold weather. Our Expat “Men’s Club” (misnamed) went yesterday (the 16th) to San Ramon for a Dinner Theatre Christmas Madrigal Old English Show or something like that. I went this year and reported yesterday.

Then there’s me – like a real Tico now, I’m going to the beach again but will spend most of my time in the forest at and near Manuel Antonio National Park in a private wildlife refuge and resort called Si Como No, which in español literally means “Yes, of course,” or “Yes, why not?”  indicative of the positive spirit of life here in Costa Rica! And I will photograph birds of course!   ¡Pura Vida!

¡Feliz Navidad!

 

Considering a move to Costa Rica? If so, and you find online research confusing or overwhelming, then read this Christopher Howard article on  All Over the Map Syndrome Although he is a little arrogant, he still has the best relocation tour of Costa Rica and his tour combined with the ARCR Seminar is one of the best ways to filter through the onslaught of information you may be finding. I credit those two events with properly preparing me for my successful move here along with a positive attitude and an already established love of the Costa Rica Culture and nature places. Before you move here, visit several times (consider the fun Caravan.com Costa Rica tour) and then go on his “Live In Costa Rica Combination Tour” coupled with the ARCR Seminar and you will be much better prepared. People who just come and try to figure it all out when they get here are usually in the 40% who end up going back to the states, Canada or wherever “home” was before. “Be Prepared!”     🙂

Madrigal Renaissance Christmas Banquet

About 30 of us expat retirees in Atenas went north of here by charter bus to San Ramon (hour drive) where we were fed and entertained by a group of expat retirees in San Ramon. We had a very interesting experience of a 14th Century Madrigal Christmas Banquet with all our hosts in period costumes and a wide variety of entertainment with the excellent meal! There was chamber music while we ate plus afterwards period ceremony, stories, singing by our hosts and group singing of Christmas Carols (in English & Spanish!) by all making it a very special Christmas Dinner. THANKS TO THE EXPATS OF SAN RAMON! And to Tony & Rose Mary for putting it together! Gracias!   🙂

Madrigal Dinner Slideshow

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Or to see each of the photos individually and larger, go to my 2018 Madrigal Banquet Photo Gallery where you can also download photos if you wish.

¡Feliz Navidad!

Breakdancers in Alajuela

While in Alajuela the other day I heard music in the gazebo of Central Park and found local teens breakdancing with a boombox in the gazebo. I tried to get a couple of shots with my phone and they aren’t very good, but an interesting part of culture here as especially the young adapt cultural activities and music from other cultures & countries around the world.  Truly, it’s a small world!   ¡Es un mundo pequeño!

Central Park Alajuela with the big white gazebo on the other side.

 

Breakdancing in Alajuela

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

~Mahatma Gandhi

P.S.   World Surfing League in Costa Rica This Week

Independence Day Parade – Bands

“Quince de septiembre” (fifteenth of September) is the more common name kind of like “4th of July” is probably used more in the states than “Independence Day.”

There is a nation-wide strike going on in Costa Rica, so it affected some aspects of the parade this year with nothing from the university in parade but all the local and neighboring schools were happy to make it almost a nino parade, which is fine! Today’s post is just some of the bands with other aspects of parade in the next few days. Note that here bands are all dominated by both drums and boys, though more difficult instruments are more likely played by girls. Another day I will show dancing which is almost all girls and so it goes as cultures, femininity and masculinity struggle everywhere, especially in schools.     🙂

Slideshow: School Bands in Atenas Independence Day Parade

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For all aspects of the parade see photo gallery 2018 Independence Day Parade Atenas 

Primary School Band Practice

I’m guessing that only 6th & 7th Graders are in the band and maybe 5th Graders. And it must count as PE or Physical Education because those green & blue uniforms are their PE uniforms, while the two boys in white shirts and black pants are in their school or classroom uniform.

It is almost all drums in all the bands here, this one with cymbals and some kind of scrappy rhythm instrument on the back row. I’m guessing again that is because of lack of money for instruments and music teachers or a priorities thing. The high school bands usually have a few girls playing xylophone with some bigger cities adding brass and reed instruments, but not many.

The group above is practicing in the city sports park across the street from the Primary School, Escuela Central. And I suspect they are getting ready for the September 15 Independence Day Parade and subsequently the December Christmas Parade. I admire the few girls who play drums which the boys tend to dominate here (and maybe everywhere).

Life in a small farming town in Costa Rica!    ¡Pura Vida!

See also my PEOPLE & FIESTAS Photo Gallery for the bands marching in the parades.

SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARÉ – “I WON’T REST”

Cirque du Soleil
It is impossible for a cell phone on the back row to capture all the mind-blowing visuals, acrobatics, music
Just a hint here!

One outside sign seen as we were leaving.

Cirque du Soleil took a week or more to install the huge theater tent, with Porta-Potties outside.

Of course we entered through a smaller tent with plenty for sale to eat, drink, or remember your experience!

SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARÉ

SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARÉ

SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARÉ

SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARÉ

SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARÉ

SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARÉ

Like Cirque du Soleil has done in the states with Elvis, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson, they have here developed a documentary/remembrance music/acrobat show about the greatest of Latin American Rock Bands in the 80’s and 90’s, Soda Stereo in Argentina. Since most Americans and other foreigners cannot possibly understand the significance to Latin Americans, an excellent description in English is provided by Cirque du Soleil in their FASCINATION NEWSLETTER.  In short, it is about a young man who thirsts for meaning and social justice and dreams of a better world, feels trapped. When he plugs into the music of Soda Stereo, he is whisked away to an inner world and is set free. Most adult Ticos here know the significance and know the songs, singing along with the performances. Moving and powerful!

For official photos and great videos of the performance see the Cirque du Soleil Website. 
And of course I have a TRIP Photo Gallery: SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARÉ
¡Pura Vida!

Pre-parade Dancing is Most Colorful!

In some ways this was my favorite part of the parade today because it was so colorful and new! We did not have this during the last two years’ parades. I love latin music and dance and the color! Nice!
Music is the best cure for a sorrowing mind.
Latin Proverb