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Panama Guide

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Wednesday, October 22 2014 @ 09:36 PM EDT

Fiestas Patrias

Travel & TourismPanama will be celebrating their independence this week with parades and festivals. Fiestas Patrias is a Spanish phrase meaning "National Holidays" which the country celebrates during the month of November. There are 3 different days celebrated during this month, here is a little history of each holdiay.

The first day is November 3rd. Panama was founded as a Republic after it separated from Colombia on November 3, 1903. Here it gets a little confusing. In Panama this day is not called Independence Day but rather "Separation Day", indicating the country's separation from Colombia.

The next holiday sometimes confuses foreigners. On the 10th of November we celebrate "el grito de la independencia" which means the "call for independence" in La Villa of Los Santos.

The last holiday celebrated this month is November 28th. Panama was a part of Colombia when Colombia obtained independence from Spain on the 28th of November, 1821. This day is called independence day..

On November 3rd you can see parades held in both Calle 50 and Via Espana simultaneously. I don't know exactly at what time they start but I'm pretty sure they run through 9:00am until about 7:00 pm. If you drive through these avenues you can see them decorated with the national flag and colors (red, white, and blue.) Most schools in Panama have a band and participate in these parades. A characteristic of these parades are children playing patriotic songs, baton girls and children wearing the traditional panamanian dress La Pollera (for girls) and El Monturno (for boys) and small food stands virtually everywhere.

It's a pretty nice experience to see the parades but I strongly recommend if you're going to take an umbrella. The one thing you can count on in Panama in November is rain, and it rains on the parade almost every year.
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