Panama celebrates the holidays in grand style. The entire nation lights itself up with vivid multicolored lights, while small towns and large cities hold parades.
Families also celebrate Christmas Eve by eating traditional dishes like ham or turkey, pan de rosca, fruitcake and rice with guandu before opening presents!
Light Up the Streets
Visit Panama at Christmastime is an ideal way to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit! Store decorations begin appearing well before Thanksgiving (though their version of Black Friday does exist), and as Christmas nears, streets become packed with shoppers seeking gifts for friends and family members. Stores and homes alike adorn themselves with lights while nativities (nacimientos) decorate every street corner – and no true Panamanian Christmas would be complete without at least one!
Panama’s festive traditions combine perfectly with tropical weather, creating a magical experience like no other back home. Expect vibrant displays, music-filled parades, delicious culinary offerings and gift exchanges beneath lit-up trees – don’t be surprised if technicolor Santas roam about among locals; panamaniacs love being playful!
At Christmas time, driving around and viewing beautiful nativity scenes and holiday lighting displays is a favorite pastime among families. Or take a walking tour through Oaks by the Bay to experience more than 100 towering trees adorned with festive holiday lights – it truly is unforgettable! Another popular tradition includes attending mass on Christmas Eve; celebrations follow similar norms to any other country. And for young ones attending Santa’s Ornament Workshop at Lazer-It will provide them with their very own ornament engraved with their name and year!
Panamanian holiday season celebrations offer a welcoming and engaging experience, where decorations, music, food, parades, musical performances and delightful culinary offerings come together with European and Latin American traditions to make an exciting celebration. Enjoy parades, musical performances and delicious dishes all enhanced by spectacular displays of festive lights and fireworks for a magical experience.
Stores and malls have had their Christmas decorations, trees and Nativity scenes out for several months now. People begin preparing early December and work tirelessly to make this holiday season truly memorable for family and friends – not to mention using this time to paint their houses, clean or make repairs!
Communities often hold an annual tradition called posada to mark Jesus’s journey toward Bethlehem. Families take turns acting as innkeepers while children represent Joseph and Mary. Nightly groups meet up at their local church before traveling together from one inn to the next throughout their neighborhood offering hospitality along the way until Christmas Eve arrives.
On Christmas, families come together to prepare a festive meal that typically features roast turkey or ham with traditional accompaniments like dulce de frutas (fruit cake) and pan de rosca (an egg bread with almonds on top), dulce de leche cake and pan de rosca are popular dessert options, while other foods like arroz con pollo (stuffed chicken), plantains en tentacion and sweetened corn are often added for variety and balance out this meal perfectly. No holiday celebration would be complete without some festive ponche de ron (rum punch).
Ring in the New Year
Panama kicks off their holiday season on New Year’s Eve with a spectacular party featuring friends and family. Restaurants fill to capacity while streets light up with illuminated candles lining them. Fireworks mark midnight hour as people continue celebrating until dawn arrives.
Christmas in Panama is an eclectic blend of European traditions and Latin American culture, where locals enjoy shopping the festive markets, caroling and adding Caribbean flare to classic Christmas dishes like pavo (turkey), relleno and arroz dulce for dinner – not forgetting an evening cap with some festive rum punch.
Oaks at Bay offers an exclusive New Year celebration, offering sparkling lights, music and dancing under a full cocktail menu and live DJ to ensure an unforgettable celebration. Come celebrate 2018 the way it should be with Oaks at Bay.
Bethlehem Christmas Village at Captain Anderson’s Marina in Panama City provides another exciting way to mark the season, teaching kids about its origins while giving them the chance to create unique crafts. Kids can also visit Board and Brush within this same space for wood workshop services where they can make signs or home decor pieces that commemorate this holiday season.
Spend Time with Family
Traveling to Panama during the holidays is an incredible opportunity to discover its rich cultural traditions, with locals celebrating religious heritage. National holidays like Martyr’s Day (9 January) as well as events commemorating its independence are celebrated across the year in Panama.
Christmas is the most significant holiday and an opportunity for families to come together, with stores starting to put up decorations and trees as early as November. Trees typically feature lights and ornaments while many Panamanians choose to add a Nativity scene in their home for added magic.
On the nights leading up to Christmas Eve, Panamanians engage in an annual tradition known as posada wherein they visit various homes with makeshift inns for Joseph and Mary, where children play the roles of innkeepers escorting nativity scenes around each house while handing out candy treats as they pass.
On Christmas Day, families typically spend the morning at church worshiping their religion before partaking in a festive traditional dinner consisting of pavo (turkey), relleno (stuffed turkey), arroz dulce and tamales. After eating they then head outside to dance and celebrate in their community streets before waiting until Epiphany or Kings Day on January 6th when children receive gifts from Three Wise Men.