Celebrate Sweet Taste of Easter in Costa Rica
Each year, my family and I reunite with friends in the tropical paradise of Costa Rica in celebration of the Easter holiday. Pops of color surround the city paralleled by a dewey rainforest scent as stunning processions sweep through the island’s picturesque towns and scenic cities during Semana Santa (Holy Week) culminating in traditional ceremonies on Easter Sunday. Semana Santa is considered one of the most influential holidays for native Costa Ricans and sparks lively celebrations combining lavish feasts and cultural festivities presented throughout the island.
I listen as traditional melody’s echo through the streets following communion ceremonies on Easter Sunday. I watch as my friends and family gather around large tables in preparation for an inspired feast featuring tantalizing seafood and vegetable offerings amongst local sweet treats including creamy rice pudding (arroz con leche), fresh homemade bread, thick servings of coconut cajeta, and my personal favorite, chiverre empanadas.
Delicate half-moon pockets of flour-based dough are filled with sweet miel de chiverre and baked to perfection in order to produce the legendary chiverre empanadas. Cuts of the seasonal white watermelon-sized chiverre squash are cooked in butter and sugar forming the jelly-like dessert filling. The Costa Rican delicacy is a staple during Holy Week and brings admirers, much like us, from around the world to witness the many traditions that take place throughout the Easter season.