Another year, another carnival!
Like in many South and Central American countries, Carnival is a time-honored tradition in Panama, where you’ll find a massive party happening in nearly every town. Who would miss out on an excuse to party and have fun? We wanted to find out when does Carnival take place, as this baffles even some locals. The event needs to happen 40 days before the Christian holy week, always starting on the Friday before Ash Wednesday.
Best place to be: Las Tablas, a province about 130 miles away from Panama City, this place hands down throws the best party around, with traditional hymns to full on party music. Carnival here is celebrated on the same day as Rio de Janeiro and Mardi Gras in New Orleans, which means thousands of people will be celebrating with you all around the world.
Here’s a quick round up of events:
Saturday: Panama City carnaval celebrations are now held on the “Cinta Costera” that is the park area on Panama City’s bay next to the beltway. Beginning early afternoon it fills with people intent on a good time. Events include a queen coronation and live bands playing salsa, reqgae, Panama folkloric music and lots of people. It’s a friendly atmosphere, where people dance, carouse and socialize. Except for the last event on Shrove Tuesday evening, celebrations are mainly indoors in the evenings in discos, bars and hotels of all classes and goes on until dawn.
One Panamanian Carnival tradition are the “mojaderas” or “getting drenched” in water. By fire hose, water balloon or bucket you come being prepared to get good and wet. It’s part of the fun and in the hot tropical sun, and a welcome respite.
Sunday: Sunday at midday there is a large, beautiful “pollera” parade. Polleras are Panama’s national costume and thousands of women and girls deck themselves out in this lovely national dress to march by groups in the parade or simply promenade.
Monday: More of the same with a small parade and the streets filled with revelers.
Shrove Tuesday: This is the biggest Carnival celebration day. On the Cinta Costera, there’s a huge New Orleans style parade withdecorated floats and costumed brigades from all sectors of society. The party finishes in the early hours of the morning.
And when it finally comes time to sleep, long after the sun has risen. Make sure you have one of our suites booked, so you can make a fully recovery from all that partying. Do so here.