I have written about Christmas in Panama before, beginning my first year here, 2006. It is a big event, very much a gift giving and feasting event for most people. It is also a religious event for many. Unlike the United States, Panama has a state religion enshrined in it’s Constitution. Panama is a Catholic country and despite having total freedom of religion, government here can and does become actively involved in the celebration of this seasonal event.
Early in December municipal workers started erecting Boquete’s Christmas tree. It is a massive artificial tree near the central park.
It did not take too long to have the wire frame covered with green and the first ribbons in place. The final product is pictured below.
The celebration of Navidad (Christmas) comes only four days after Winter Solstice this year and hence only four days after the theoretical end of the Mayan calendar. Assuming we all survive the event of the solstice or more likely the many parties scheduled for that day, we will be able to enjoy a Christmas in Boquete.
Panamanian families celebrate at midnight Christmas Eve. If you are here and awake don’t be shocked when the sky lights up with midnight fireworks Christmas Eve. You can read about our 2011 Christmas in Bugaba here for an idea of a typical event.
Boquete will have it’s traditional Christmas Parade this year. It will be held Christmas Day starting at six PM Panama lento (slow) time. I verified this with the Municipo . This link will show you some of the 2006 Boquete Christmas Parade, that was the last time I actually made it to the parade.
I hope to repeat the appearance this year. You should too. The parade is great fun, bring your Santa hat and join the joy of the season.