Light Festival

Who doesn’t want to celebrate Christmas? Who isn’t excited about a unique show at the heart of San José?

The Light Festival is one of the most waited for events in Costa Rica throughout the year. Both children and adults enjoy year after year the amazing floats and bands that come to fill them with Christmas magic.

The tradition of the Light Festival began in 1996 when the council of San José organised the first parade of floats and best music bands of the country. That year 16 floats and 12 music bands marched through the city.

The figure of Mariscal was born in 1999 as a central element of the Light Festival. The Mariscal is a Costa Rican person recognised by the Council of San José as an important figure who has given pride and importance to Costa Rica, both at the national and at the international level. That first year there was a Mariscal, the title was hold by the astronaut Franklin Chang Díaz.

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The judges that choose the best floats and bands within the different categories there are, is composed by a group of people with much knowledge and national and international expertise within the fields of music and plastic arts.

Since it first took place, this Festival has become a cultural reference point, attracting approximately 1 million people to the event and being watched on television by 2 millions more. It is the TV programme with the highest audience in December: all national channels and some international ones, such as CNN, TELEVISA and UNIVISÓN, broadcast it.

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Every year, we invite you to come on the second Saturday of December to this free activity open to all in order to enjoy the parade, going from the National Gymnasium, passing through Paseo Colón and Second Avenue and ending at the Democracy Square.

Come and let’s receive together the joy of Christmas with this celebration full of color and happiness!


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