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Panama Carnival

Last update: December, 2009

Anyone lucky enough to be in Panama at Carnival time will be amazed at the sheer exuberance and joy with which the Panamanians throw themselves into the party spirit. The country literally closes down for four days while the pre-Lenten fiesta takes over the streets from Saturday to the wee hours of Wednesday( Ash Wednesday) when a sardine is symbolically buried at the beach to officially bring the good times to an end and initiate the fasting for Lent. Street dancing, parades, culecos (where dancers are dowsed with water as they prance), exotically decorated floats with even more exotically dressed queens keep the party going day after day. And it is not only Panama City that takes off.

In the interior every little town adds its own spice to the celebration. In many places "war" is waged between competeing streets - Calle Arriba ( Upper Street) and Calle Abajo ( Lower Sreet) - who choose their own queens and battle to outdo each other with spectacular floats, extravagant costumes, inspired dancing and outrageous songs.. Don´t expect to get any work done - just party along with everyone else in the country. Carnival takes place early each year. Tuesday of Carnival (Shrove Tuesday) is calculated as 47 days before Easter Sunday.

Related Links

Art & Culture in Focus Panama
ColonFreeZone website
Colon Free Zone's Adm. website


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