The long weekend is finally over and all is quiet in Pedasí tonight. Well at least at about 8pm after a few leftover fireworks were shot off. November is full of holidays for Panama and we are not done yet. But this weekend started with a Halloween party last Thursday at our friends home here in Pedasí. Halloween is not really celebrated in Panama, although I have observed that some stores are selling some Halloween items, mostly in Panamá. The party was really fun although my costume wasn’t all that great as others were. I got rid of my cat outfit in the states, thinking I would not be needing it. But we were invited to a party, with mostly expats, costumes and masks optional but most wore them, some very elaborate, some very creative.
Saturday,November 2nd, starting at midnight to midnight Sunday, Nov. 3rd was “El día de muerte” (day of the dead). It was very quiet that day and even the stores would not sell any alcohol for 24 hours. A small parade traveled down to the local cemetery to pay tribute to those who have passed on. It may sound a little morbid, but when I thought about it, the whole country taking a day to remember our loved ones is not so bad after all. Of course, at midnight, Nov. 3rd, the cantinas opened up.
Sunday was Flag day, with parades, music, street vendors, and fireworks. This continued through the next day which was the “Monday” holiday for Colon Day, celebrating Panama’s independence from Columbia. Colon Day is actually today, but since it was on a Tuesday, Panama now has declared Monday as a holiday as well. Government offices and banks were closed for both days. So more parades, fireworks, music, etc.
Things will be open and back to “normal” only for a few days when it starts all over again with “The Uprising of Los Santos” day (first cry for independence) on Sunday, Nov. 10th. And of course, Monday has been declared another holiday. Some of the vendor booths in the town square have remained open throughout the month. The Panamanians love their holidays, especially in November. They certainly know how to celebrate.