From Wendy’s to Starbucks to IHOP, Panama City is stocked up on American staples.
But there’s one thing North Americans may miss this time of year…
Much as Panamanians love a holiday, Halloween is not on the list.
No spooky costumes showing up at your door here. No need to wipe the supermarket out of candy.
This Friday, however, Panamanians will mark Day of the Dead. Not an official holiday—and nowhere near as big as the Mexican version—but Nov. 2 is significant in Panama in three ways:
- Panamanians remember their deceased loved ones and take flowers to decorate their graves.
- It’s an official dry day—you can’t buy alcohol in stores or restaurants. And, remember to leave your boom box at home—most music is banned for these 24 hours. (I’m not kidding—it’s all set out in Decree 1932 of 25 October 2010.)
- It marks the start of the Panamanian holiday season that runs right up to Easter.
November is one big party month—when Panamanians take time to celebrate being Panamanian.
Hot on the heels of Day of the Dead is Separation Day (Separación de Panamá de Colombia)—marking Panama’s break from the Republic of Colombia back in 1903. It’s a national holiday and is marked with parades and fireworks all over the country.
Next up is National Symbols Day (Día de los Símbolos Patrios), Nov. 4… followed by Colón Day (Día de Colón) on Nov. 5—remembering the day in 1903 that the citizens of Colón stopped the Colombian army from marching on Panama City.
But we’re still not done…
Nov. 10 is First Cry for Independence Day (Primer Grito de Independencia). This commemorates the day in 1821 when a group of Panamanians seized the Spanish barracks (without spilling a drop of blood) and sparked a countrywide movement toward independence from Spain…
Which brings us to Independence Day (Independencia de Panamá de España), Nov. 28, celebrating freedom from Spain in 1821—18 days after the uprising in La Villa de Los Santos.
November is an interesting time to be in Panama. First-time visitors would be forgiven for thinking that every day here is a festival. And, that has its downsides, too…
All these celebrations impact the regular flow of business. Don’t count on getting much done in November. Or December.
We’ll be well out the other side of these celebrations by the time our Live and Invest in Panama Conference rolls around in February…
February 2019 will be one of the quieter months on the party schedule—the calm before the storm of Carnaval (which this year kicks off on March 4). In other words, this is a good time to experience the real Panama… without her stilettos and feathers.
Come Feb. 20–22, it’s going to be all business… at least behind the doors of the meeting rooms we’ve reserved at the Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino in Panama City.
At our 11th annual Live and Invest in Panama Conference, you’ll find out everything you need to know to make your move to Panama… what visa to apply for… the best banks for a foreigner to do business… what to do about health care and insurance… where to settle when you first come here… the big question of whether to rent or buy… and lots more.
But we’re not only going to help you move to Panama. Getting to Panama, after all, is only the beginning of your journey. You’ll want to make plans to enjoy every day that you’re here… whether you’re doing business, enjoying retirement or semi-retirement, relocating with young kids or aging parents in tow. You’ll maybe want to learn Spanish… make new friends… find ways to help in your community, and lots more. And we’ll cover all those bases, too.
We’ll also showcase some of the country’s best investment opportunities—from new opportunities in the city… to agro-investments (the best places to buy land and what to grow)… to the next big thing on Panama’s Pacific coast…
And, we’ll prepare you for how to survive (and make the most of) Panama’s biggest fiestas.