On Wensday we went to San Ramón of Alajuela to see the saints party and dancing. As if they were allow came down from the heavens once a year. To experience the PURA VIDA. Festivities in honor of the Saint Patron of a town is something very common in Costa Rica. A well preserve heritage from the days of the Colony. And an assimilated behavior of the faith of the Spaniards.
Pretty much every single town in Costa Rica is named after a Catholic saint. And every year during the day that commemorates that saint. The parishioners organize massive festivities. Raging from ballrooms. to concerts, to mechanic attractions, traditional games and of course the mandatory processions with the image of the saint at shoulders. This year we went to see Moncho’s festivities. (Moncho is a common nick name given to those named Ramón). And so around 8:30 we part to San Ramón de Alajuela. Using public transportation. The trip should take around 1 hour and 10 minutes with regular traffic conditions.
San Ramón takes a lot pride of their festivities. During 10 days the Moncheños (people of San Ramón) deliver a massive party. With an impeccable organization so much so that this year festivity earned the ecologically blue flag. With a grade of 99 meaning that the activities had a very small impact in the environment.
Lorenzo Montenegro a priest from Alajuela asked for permits to parade the statue of Saint Ramón. The goal to find funds to build the Parish of San Ramón this happen in 1851. The neighborhoods of nearby by towns heard of the idea of priest Lorenzo and parade the saints of their churches to say hello to San Ramón. And the reentering the church. Since that day Saint Ramón aka Moncho has parade every year. That means 166 of parades and a one week party or “turno” that turns every Moncheño (person from San Ramón) to the streets.
This year 68 saints parade after the image of Moncho. After each saint there is a band, mariachi, trio or any other imaginable music group. Singing and playing music in what has become an extremely colorful a event. The towns have now a facto fight to see which saint has the biggest and most pompous cart. And those saints that travel in the shoulders of their parishioners run and dance at the bit of the music played by the group choose to companion them.
This year (2017) the firemen of San Ramón were showing their new firetruck and 200.000.000 colones machine. And presiding the parade was Saint Barabara saint patron of the Firemen. They told the story about how more than 60 years ago the earnings of the festivities of Saint Ramon. Were use to buy a machine in those days value at 7.000 colones.
San Ramón is a prove of the spirit of Costa Rica. And one of the meanings of the Pura Vida life style. Little security is needed. The festivities are organize by the parishioners and enjoy by the entire country. With the saints that visit Moncho’s party thousands of people visit San Ramon. This is why San Ramón has develop as of the the most important cities of the province of Alajuela.
Que viva Moncho!
To see photos of the fesitivity of Mocho enter our facebook page.