Wow! It’s already December. November with its full month of holidays, parades, and fiestas is past. As I have written in previous blogs, the month of November in Panama has many holidays, both national and local. With that comes lots of festivities and many tourists. Those who live in Panama City venture out toward the interior to visit their families and participate in the activities. There is an unofficial saying that has gone around: “Don’t expect much to get done in November.” Everyone takes off to party, go to the beach, or go fishing. And then there is always Thanksgiving for us expats from the U.S.
Photos of Parade on November 3 – Independence Day from Spain
This year Pedasí added another festivity “La Desfile de Carretas” (the Cart Parade), which includes “running of the bulls”. In the past it has usually been at the end of October, but this year they changed it to November 26th, adding to an already annual Panama celebration-Independence Day on November 28th (the 2nd of 2 Independence Days in November).
Two nights before was a parade honoring the patron saint of Pedasí, Santa Catalina; the next day a rodeo; and the next night was the crowning of Miss Pedasí. All these came with loud music and fireworks throughout the day and even through most of the night. I was woken up by very loud booms shaking our walls from fireworks shot up into the sky nearby at 4:00am one early morning. Bella goes crazy and won’t stop barking. You would think she would be used to it being a Panamanian dog, but fireworks seem to bother her more than ever now.
So now it’s December, but it’s not the end of the festivities. December 8th is Mothers’ Day, very big in Panama. Again many will travel to the interior to visit their mothers. And then of course Christmas will be around the corner. Usually most of the decorations and lights are put up after Mothers’ Day, but we followed our U.S. tradition of setting up the Christmas Tree on Thanksgiving weekend. We are waiting to set up the rest of the Christmas lights and decorations around the front of the house after Mothers’ Day to follow the Panamanian tradition. We have noticed a lot more Christmas decorations much earlier than before are available for sale in the stores in Las Tablas & Chitre. The other day while walking into Super Pollmart (a grocery store in Chitré), I spied fresh green pine trees sitting in buckets of water near the entrance. And it was enjoyable to smell the pine scent as I passed. But we have an artificial tree we bought last year that will probably last a few more years, always staying green (although no pine scent to enjoy).
Mikkel is off with his partner again on a week-long business trip to Coronado, El Valle de Antón, and the city. I pray that they have no car problems and they do well. So I again am on my own to get into some mischief (haha). There is plenty to do – teach English on Monday; Animal Advocates meeting on Friday; post flyers around town for upcoming Mercado. Oh, and of course there is always the beach if the weather holds out. The breezes are changing direction and we have had a few days of sun. So I know the dry season is coming soon. And so is Christmas!