Festivities, Holidays and Traditions in Panama
The Carnival is one of the most anticipated events for all Panamanian and it is held over a four day period before Ash Wednesday and ends with the Entierro de la Sardina (‘Burial of the Sardine’). The locals of Panama often move to the inland or spread along the coasts, squares and parks to dance to popular music, but the most common place to go to is Las Tablas. One of the ongoing traditions is when water tanks drive along the streets and spray water all over the people. This popular tradition is called the "mojaderas" or "culecos". The Carnival is the perfect excuse to get together with friends and toast life.
Easter is one of the most celebrated moments in Panama as processions are held by almost every community to commemorate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. There are many types of interpretations of the stations of the Cross but the most amazing processions are probably the ones of Bocas del Toro. Many villages have no roads so they do aquatic processions. In Panama it is common to eat Bon bread -made of candied fruits with a touch of cinnamon and vanilla-, the Yaniqueque -a coco milk bread- and to drink cocoa. During these days it is also typical that younger people get together on the beaches from sunrise until sunset.
Azuero International Fair
From late April to early May, the International Fair of Azuero is celebrated. La Villa de los Santos is the town that hosts this event. Part of the fair is focused on livestock but is also the scene of traditional dances and music of Panamanian artists. In this fair a tradition is that the Cavalcade of Villa de los Santos appears, so that you can see some Panama’s traditional costumes and dances.
In late September, the Mejorana’s Festival is one of Panama’s most popular and it is celebrated in Guararé. It's probably one of the most important folk displays of the country, where a beauty queen is chosen, La Reina (’the Queen‘), and typical parades of Panama and Guararé are performed along with musical or artistic competitions. The Panamanian people get a chance to show their most ancestral traditions.