Year end traditions in Costa Rica include the bullfights and horse parades. In the photo, the bullfights in Zapote.  La Nacion/Marcela Bertozzi
Year end traditions in Costa Rica include the bullfights and horse parades. In the photo, the bullfights in Zapote. La Nacion/Marcela Bertozzi

QCOSTARICA – Starting at noon today, Christmas Day, and for the next two weeks thousands of people head out for the traditional celebrations of the Fiestas de Zapote (Zapote Fair), looking for fun and recreation.

However, the fun for many comes with a price tag, ending up on the stretchers of the Cruz Roja (Red Cross) or hospital. The majority of serious injuries sustained in the bull ring.

Between 2007 and last year, the Cruz Roja treated 4.700 people at Zapote, an average of 581 each year, or 41 daily.

When you add in the other year end festivals, like the Festival de la Luz and the Carnaval, the total number of injured during that period is 5.534, the “Tope” (horse parade) being the single biggest event for injuries.

The Cruz Roja says first aid has been provided to people sustaining injuries from mechanical toys and rides, food poisoning, excessive alcohol, burns and cuts in food preparation and medical conditions, like low blood pressure and dizziness.

This year, lovers of the bullfights in San Joé have another option to the year end Zapote bulls, the Toros a la Tica in the Pedregal  parking lot in Belen.
This year, lovers of the bullfights in San Joé have another option to the year end Zapote bulls, the Toros a la Tica in the Pedregal parking lot in Belen.

But the most serious being gored in the buttocks and thighs during the bullfights in the bull ring. The report says that many times the injuries didn’t come from the bull, but sustained while running away from the charing animal or from their fellow bullfighters.

A word of advice, if you are heading out to Zapote or taking part in the Tope in downtown San José tomorrow (Friday, December 26), take extra care in not becoming yet another year end statistic.

Source: La Nacion; Facebook