We are lucky to be here and during the holidays. No not the American Thanksgiving, but the Panama Holidays. Beginning on November 2nd, Day of the Dead. Panama celebrates their departed with visiting cemeteries and cleaning up graves and remembering loved ones. This is a somber holiday here. No alcohol is sold or bought in the country. Most stores closed at 2PM. Tomorrow is November 3, Separation Day. This holiday commemorates Panama’s separation from Columbia in 1903. November 4, is Flag Day. I have never seen so many national flags. Panama puts its flags everywhere and on everything. November 5, is Colon Day. On this day in 1903, Panamanians in Colon stood their ground and averted a march on Panama City by the Colombian army. These are the Fiestas Patrias or national patriotic holidays. Although we have not been here through these yet, I have heard that there will be parades from 10AM until 10PM and partying all night for the 3+ days. Evidently the party continues past the 5th just in time for the next holiday on the 1oth which is the holiday for The Uprising in the Villa de Los Santos. This holiday refers to the people of Los Santos who had an uprising against the Spanish who were under Spanish rule. This uprising concluded with the independence from Spain 18 days later. This is of course followed by the actual holiday of independence from Spain on the 28th of November. So all in all, government offices, retailers and most businesses don’t gt much work done in the month of November. This was one reason we so desperately wanted to get our Visa’s in October.
Fiestas Patrias in Boquete
We have been in Boquete since Monday. For the most part every day you see more and more decorations going up around town for the holiday. Flags are everywhere. At the end of our road that joins the highway from David to Boquete is Thomas Benigno College Argote ( the local high school). For the past couple of days, we can hear the band practicing for hours for what we believe will be part of the parades this weekend. It should be a humdinger. Let ya know. In thinking ahead I found a video from a parade in Boquete . Here it is :
Wanted to update you. Yes, we went downtown for the parade on Sunday. Barely got out of the taxi before it began raining. Went into the famous Fried Chicken restaurant and ate lunch while we waited hopefully for the rain to stop. Well it did not. It just came down harder. We needed to get groceries before heading back. Scattered everywhere were people taking cover under anything they could waiting out the storm. Some people were all decked out in native costumes and others in band uniforms. We decided to get groceries and head home. So we did not see any of the festivities going on.
The parades were non stop Friday and Saturday. Sunday we ventured out again since it was another holiday. We found the town empty and most businesses closed. Again we had missed the opportunity to see the hoopla again. Oh, well there will be next year.
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