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Festivals & Folklore


The most important festival is carnival, which takes place during the four days before Ash Wednesday. Unofficially the “best” carnival in the country is in Las Tablas, however, for a tamer but equally colorful experience you may prefer trying out nearby Pedasí.

Fiestas Patrias

During the month of November Panamanians celebrate their separation from Columbia (3rd November) and independence from Spain (28th November) as well as their Flag Day (4th November). There are many wonderful parades and parties all over the region.

Mil Polleras Parade

Panama’s national costume, “la pollera” is one of the most beautiful in Latin America and to celebrate it hundreds of women compete to make the most beautiful dress and parade through the city streets of Las Tablas (about an hours’ drive away). The parade usually takes place on the second weekend in January.

Public holidays

Panamanians have lots of public holidays.
Here are some of the main ones:

Public Holidays in Panama
1 Jan New Year’s Day
9 Jan National Martyr’s Day
Feb/Mar Carnival
Mar/Apr Easter
1 May Labour Day
15 Aug Old Panama City Day
3 Nov Separation Day (from Colombia)
4 Nov Flag Day
10 Nov Call for Independence from Spain
28 Nov Independence Day (from Spain)
8 Dec Mother’s Day
25 Dec Christmas Day

There are also many regional public holidays and it seems like every town, however small, has their own celebrations throughout the year. Many of these occur in November with the various ‘calls’ for independence, not to mention countless patron saint celebrations. Azuero really is the heart of this culture!