Sep 13 th, 2017
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Celebrating Independence Day: Why the Lantern Parade?

Alberto Font/The Tico Times

When I was growing up, faroles – the handmade lanterns meant to symbolize the 19th-century journey that brought the message of Central American independence to Costa Rica – were simple constructions, made of paper – like a red, white and black accordion with a candle inside. We typically made them in school during preparations for the civic festival to mark Costa Rica’s Independence Day on Sept. 15.

Today, faroles come in all shapes and sizes. Giant crests with the Costa Rican flag are highlighted by bright reflectors;

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