Celebrating Holidays in Panama with Old and New Traditions
By Karyn Saunders firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the perks of being an expat in any country is you not only meet so many people from all over the world, but you also end up celebrating holidays with them in their unique ways. We all have our own traditions that are not to be left behind; they can be taken with you and practiced wherever you are in the world.
In two weeks, Allan and I will be celebrating five years in Panama. Last week we had the pleasure of being invited on a sunset Catamaran Cruise for American Thanksgiving. After our four-hour tour in the Bay of Panama, we all decided that we were going to make this a tradition and next year we will be doing it again. We had the cruise catered with a Turkey dinner and rather than spending the evening cleaning up and washing dishes we disembarked and drove home to our beds. Perfect!
The holidays in Panama are all that I experienced in Toronto and much more. Every mall has one or more huge floor-to-ceiling Christmas tree.
The grocery stores have had Christmas music playing since November 1st and Black Friday kicked off the holiday shopping season with hours of operation ranging from 6:00am-midnight. Many members of the community have holiday cocktail parties and New Year’s usually finds us on a condominium roof top watching the incredible display of fireworks up and down the Pacific Coast.
Easter is one of the busiest holidays in Panama, as the country is predominantly Catholic. It is called Semana Santa and it also marks the end of summer, whereas in Canada we hope it marks the beginning of spring (which usually isn’t the case). Last year, a group of us went up into the mountains and enjoyed breakfast and pool side fun at a friend’s bed & breakfast. In years past, Allan and I would hide out at home: the roads and traffic are similar to the 4th of July in the U.S and Labour Day long weekend in Canada.
If you love holidays, moving to Panama could almost guarantee a holiday every other week. Between the American, Panamanian and Canadian holidays that are celebrated in the expat communities there is always a reason to throw a fiesta or set off some fireworks, which seems to be the common thread in all the holidays in Panama.
Happy Holidays and we look forward to celebrating them with you in Panama.