Costa Rican Holy Week Foods

Three slice of tamal de masa alongside a cup of black coffee.

Semana Santa in Costa Rica is one of the two most important holidays- the other being Christmas.  Like many countries in Latin America, Costa Rica is a primarily Catholic country. Since Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter, it’s a very special time. 

From Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday there are many types of celebrations- including multiple religious processions and Masses throughout the country. The main religious days for this time of year are Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. 

Schools and businesses are closed, bus schedules are greatly reduced, and beer, wine, and liquor are prohibited for sale. Also- the weather is gorgeous, as  Semana Santa usually falls at the tail end of Costa Rican summer. 

However, Semana Santa also generally falls during Spring Break around the world- so beach towns in Costa Rica are bustling. Additionally, tons of ticos take advantage of the time off from work and school to stock up on food and adult beverages and head to the beach. This can also mean crowded busses and roads. It’s a busy time to visit Costa Rica!

Related post: 20+ Best Places For Your Next Costa Rica Vacation

I associate Holy Week in Costa Rica with long, lazy days spent visiting friends and family and walking through the park before and after processions. Also in Costa Rica during the week before Easter, a lot of cooking happens. That’s because most Costa Rica Easter traditions center around food- and sharing holiday dishes with family and friends.

I thought I’d round up the most popular Costa Rican Semana Santa food recipes for Holy Week in the hopes that you can recreate some of the most popular Costa Rican traditional food at your home during this Lenten season.

Traditional Costa Rican Holy Week Foods

Semana Santa marks the week before Easter and this is a big list of traditional Costa Rican Holy Week foods to make to celebrate.

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