The parade of lanterns (Desfile de Los faroles) in Costa Rica is said to have been born in 1953 when Professor Víctor Manuel Ureña, then provincial director of schools in San José, had the idea of instilling in the town, starting with the children, the civic spirit.
The first lantern parade was organized on September 14 in the afternoon, in which approximately 10,000 children participated. And it is from then on that this day is taken as a patriotic tradition.
This is one of the oldest traditions in Costa Rica, where parents, teachers, and children are integrated into a beautiful parade of lanterns. All of them made in a traditional way highlighting the national symbols and the Costa Rican flag.
The tradition is that on September 14, hundreds of lanterns are lit throughout the country that gathers to sing the National Anthem at 6 in the afternoon, and then walk through the streets with lanterns and many times, music from school band.
A virtual lantern parade
Currently with the COVID-19 pandemic this tradition took a different turn. However, because it is such an important patriotic date for the Costa Rican people, this year it will be held virtually.
As for the route of the torch, it will be virtual through an animated application that shows the kilometers covered, simulating the walk.
Through this application, students and their families will be able to choose a lantern among three designs and connect on a virtual map to celebrate the tradition of the lantern parade. The application will be enabled between September 12 and 15.
Anabelle Venegas, director of the National Holidays Commission stated: “We want to call on citizens in general, and especially on our beloved educational community, to strengthen their civic and cultural values through continuous reflection and, in safeguarding the health and integrity of the students, we will carry out activities under the format of distance education, in celebration of historical events, fundamental for our citizen identity ”.
This virtual event is held with the aim of maintaining the illusion of Costa Rican children despite finding ourselves going through this health difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This in turn will allow people inside and outside the country to light a lantern on their cell phone or computer.
The application link to follow this virtual event in real time, without missing out, is the following => mifarol.com. It is important to know that this application will be available from the morning hours of September 12 until September 15 at noon.
Each person who lights their lantern will be able to choose and share their photograph with a lantern whose design can be chosen from among several made by a national artist.
For her part, the Minister of Public Education, Guiselle Cruz, commented: “Today’s conditions prevent us from meeting physically, but our fervor has made its way through adversity, and thanks to technology and the good will of those who have contributed to make This is possible, today we will virtually unite to reaffirm the values that have characterized us as a country for almost 200 years of independent life. Faced with challenging situations, such as the current one, is when Costa Rica has proven that it is a great homeland, full of solidarity