“Annexation of Guanacaste Day” occurs in Costa Rica every 25 July and remembers the day in 1824 when Costa Rica’s westernmost province was annexed from Nicaragua.
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The annexation was 100 percent voluntary and, as “Guanacastecos” already had much cultural identity with Costa Ricans, it was a smooth transition. The transfer occurred while The Central American Federation still existed and was approved by that federation’s governing council. It also took place while civil wars were ravaging Nicaragua such that they could not effectively resist the move, even if they had wanted to.
Guanacaste Day celebrations occur throughout Costa Rica on this day, but they are especially prominent in the province of Guanacaste itself. There are special events in schools to teach of the history of the annexation, public processions with children marching and dressed up as ranchers or in other costumes, and traditional dancing, music, and food.
There are Costa Rican style bull fights. Bulls are teased by bull fighters that act more like clowns. They dress up in humorous clothes, entertain onlookers, compete to win prizes, and never hurt the bulls like they sometimes do in Spanish or Mexican bull fights.