Virgin of Los Angeles Day in Costa Rica in 2020

Virgin of Los Angeles Day in Costa Rica in 2020
Tiles showing the discovery of La Negrita. Image by Rodtico21 , via Flickr
  How long until Virgin of Los Angeles Day?
This holiday next takes place in 317 days.
  Dates of Virgin of Los Angeles Day in Costa Rica
2021 Costa Rica Mon, Aug 2 National Holiday
2020 Costa Rica Sun, Aug 2 National Holiday
2019 Costa Rica Fri, Aug 2 National Holiday
2018 Costa Rica Thu, Aug 2 National Holiday
2017 Costa Rica Wed, Aug 2 National Holiday
  Summary
The Virgin of Los Angeles is the patron saint of Costa Rica
  Local name
Virgen de los Angeles

When is the Virgin of Los Angeles Day?

The Day of Our Lady of the Angels (Virgen de los Angeles) is a public holiday in Costa Rica observed on August 2nd each year.

This important religious holiday honours the patron saint of Costa Rica, the Virgin Mary. It is not unusual for a country to venerate Mary, what is different in Costa Rica is that the holiday specifically honours a small statue of Mary.

Traditions of Virgin of Los Angeles Day

The 'La Negrita' is a small statue of the Virgin Mary carved from dark wood, that was found on August 2nd 1635 by a native woman called Juana Pereira.

When Juana naturally picked up this statue to take it home. It then vanished, only to reappear at the same spot she originally found it. This happened again before the townspeople saw this as a sign of divine intervention and built a shrine around it. 

Did you know?

There is a very similar story behind another holiday dedicated to the Virgin Mary. On January 21st the Dominican Republic celebrates the Lady of Altagracia, in which a painting of Mary displayed similar homing instincts.

The Basilica Virgen de Los Angeles in Cartago was built over the shrine in 1639, but this was partially destroyed in an earthquake. A restored structure was completed in 1722.

In 1824, the Virgin was declared Costa Rica’s patron saint.

La Negrita is kept in the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago. Each year, the anniversary of the statue’s discovery is a popular pilgrimage, with thousands making the 22 km journey from San José to the basilica. Some will make the walk barefoot and many will complete the last few hundred meters to see La Negrita on their knees. 

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