Seafood Prices Increase With Start of Lent in Panama
Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 03:14 pm EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: Lent (called the "Cuaresma" in Spanish) is the Christian observance of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. The last day of Carnival - "Fat Tuesday" - is the day before Ash Wednesday, today. The whole idea of Carnival is to allow Catholics a chance to get their freak on for a few days before embarking on 40 days of self deprivation and denial, in preparation for Holy Week. "The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxury as a form of penitence." Here in Panama it's traditional for people to "give up" beef, and instead they eat seafood. So, demand increases greatly, and so do prices. Most Americans don't realize this is why "Mardi Gras" is only celebrated in New Orleans. That part of the country was originally settled by French Catholics and not English Protestants. Carnival is a very "Catholic" tradition.