Army Abolition Day in Costa Rica in 2024

Army Abolition Day in Costa Rica in 2024
  How long until Army Abolition Day?
Army Abolition Day
  Dates of Army Abolition Day in Costa Rica
2025 Costa Rica Mon, Dec 1 National Holiday
2024 Costa Rica Sun, Dec 1 National Holiday
2023 Costa Rica Fri, Dec 1 National Holiday
2022 Costa Rica Mon, Dec 5 National Holiday
2021 Costa Rica Mon, Nov 29 National Holiday

Marks the abolishing of the country's armed forces on this day in 1948.

When is Army Abolition Day?

Army Abolition Day is a non-paid legal holiday  (feriado de no pago obligatorio) in Costa Rica on December 1st each year. If an employee does work the holiday, they receive their normal salary.

In a move intended to rejuvenate the tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic, this holiday will be moved to the following Monday from 2020 onwards.

This holiday marks the abolition of the Costa Rican armed forces on this day in 1948.

History of Army Abolition Day

The Costa Rican Civil War in the spring of 1948 was the bloodiest event of the 20th century in this Central American country. It is fitting that after the war, President José Figueres Ferrer drafted a new constitution, guaranteeing universal suffrage and the dismantling of the military. 

On December 1st 1948, the armed forces of Costa Rica were formally abolished.

President Carlos Alvarado signed the law that establishes the new holiday on May 19th 2020 in a ceremony, held at the National Museum.

The signing act was accompanied by the song to the Abolition of the Army by the Costa Rican composer Carlos Guzmán, which is sung at each commemoration of this historic milestone.

The museum was once the Bellavista Fortress, where military recruits trained and weapons were stored. After the army was abolished, President Figueres offered the fortress to the University of Costa Rica, and by 1950 it had become the permanent venue for the National Museum.

Commenting on the new holiday, Alvarado said: "The resources that the government of the republic would have historically had to invest in a defence system based on weapons were wisely diverted to direct expenses for the well-being of Costa Ricans."

The new holiday was approved last December by the Legislative Assembly as an amendment to the Labor Code and supplants October 12th (Cultures Day) as a non-paid legal holiday beginning this year.

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