What would you say to spend Christmas’ holidays in Panama?
Far away from cold, discovering a new culture, relaxing on white sand beaches, snorkel, wearing swimsuits and shorts, that’s what is expecting you if you choose to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Panama!
Try a snowman made in sand, taste fresh fish and seafood, get tanned on the beach, but not only.
You will be surprised by all the Panamanian traditions you will meet during this period!
One but not the least is the grapes’ tradition.
For the new year, Panamanians eat 12 grapes and count the total number of seeds to know which number is going to be their lucky number of the year.
Then, do not be surprised to catch people driving a suitcase by street (or in their house) around 12am. It’s a superstition which is supposed to make you travel during the year.
An other tradition is the “Muñeco”. Looking like a big doll, Panamanians build it (or buy it) for New Year. Made with papier-mâché and full of fireworks, Panamanians begin to set up the Muñeco in early December. They usually represent celebrities, public figures or politicians we heard about all year long and someone they normally do not like or do not care about. Creative way of taking a last look at a despised personality before making it exploded! Muñecos remain on display in front of Panamanians home throughout December before being blown up!
Let’s stay with fireworks… Panamanians are totally keen on fireworks! You are probably also used to it for New Year, but believe me, you are not prepared for Panamanian ones!
For Christmas and New Year, fireworks don’t only last few minutes, but few hours!!! So do not be scared if you hear the same noises for 2 hours, you are not becoming deaf, you are just celebrating as Panamanians do! It’s really common that a lot of families have their own fireworks! That’s why it never stops for hours…
You will also probably see people wearing red or yellow clothes. Red for love and yellow for a good luck throughout the year.
Also, Panamanians usually hang a bunch of oranges, rice, and wheat behind the front door, for prosperity, work, and health.
Of course, you will also enjoy typical Panamanian dishes as Arroz con guandù, Papa ensalada, Jamon and Pavo, Tomales, fresh Fish, rosca de pan, chichi de saril…
A real lush, authentic and original experience to live in Panama during this period!