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"Dry Law" In Effect Today, 2 November 2010 - The Day of the Dead

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying Starting as of 12:01 am, today, Tuesday, 2 November 2010, the "dry law" went into affect, which prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages and the use of music during this day that marks the Day of the Dead. The Mayor of Panama issued Decree 1932 of 25 October 2010 yesterday, which orders the suspension of dance activities and the sale of alcoholic beverages in the district of Panama on this date. The decree also prohibits the use of music boxes, jukeboxes and dance activities, assemblies or other means of dissemination of music, from the appointed time on November 2 until 12:01 am November 3. Also, the sale of alcoholic beverages in all bars, wineries, barbecues, shops and supermarkets is prohibited. In case of non-compliance with the provisions, offenders will be punished with fines ranging from $100 to $1,000 dollars, to be applied by Justices of the Peace, night judges, or the Mayor of Panama City. The decree, published in the Official Gazette number 26653-B, authorizes all security organizations to enforce existing provisions. (El Siglo)

Editor's Comment: Literally translated as the "Day of the Dead" - it's really more like a kind of Memorial Day to remember deceased parents, family members, relatives, and friends. The adoption of this "dry law" every year is routine and normal in Panama. Today everyone takes bunches of flowers and places them on the graves of their deceased family members. This week marks the start of the Panamanian holiday season, which continues from now through Easter (Semana Santa). From here we go through the "Fiestas Patrias" which are like Independence Day Celebrations. Starting today with the "Day of the Dead", tomorrow 3 November is "Separation Day" to mark the creation of the Republic of Panama with their separation from Colombia on 3 November 1903. Next comes "Flag Day" on 4 November, "Colon Day" on 5 November, "The Uprising in the Villa de Los Santos" on 10 November, and then Independence Day on 28 November. All of this means no work gets done this month. Then in December we start with Mother's day (8 December), Christmas, New Years, Marty's Day (9 Jan), Carnival (4 to 8 March 2011), and finally Holy Week (Easter on 24 April 2011.) And, the dry season kicks in on or about 15 December or so, and it runs through the middle of April, so everyone schedules their annual vacation during the "summer" (dry season) when the kids are out of school.

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