The Top 15 Festivals of Panama that You Should Not Miss

Festivals of Panama will let you enjoy the country’s tradition and culture.People in Panama are quite pleasant people, and enjoy celebrating life and party. If you’re on holiday in Panama try one of its festivals.

Festivals of Panama are lively and also represent the essence of the people of Panama. Many of them occur from December to March  but there are other festivals all year round as well.

Panamanians hold their holidays and festivals close to their heart. During festivals, streets would be shut down, stores would be closed and people also would come out in colorful costumes.

When you plan on traveling during a vacation and try to book accommodation far ahead of time. Keep your camera ready too, since there are likely to be some great photo moments.

 Festivals of Panama are as follows:

S.NoMonthFestivalHow it is celebrated ?
1JanuaryPanama Jazz festivalCelebrated with Jazz events
2JanuaryBoquete Coffee and Flower FestivalCelebrated with coveted coffee from Boquete, artisans crafts, and flowers
3FebruaryBoquete Jazz and Blues festivalCelebrated with the blend of Jazz and Blues music
4MarchCarnivalCelebrated with parades, floats, music, dancing, and partying
5MarchFestival de Diablos y Congos de portobeloCelebrated with diablos parades
6March / AprilSemana SantaCelebrated with the enactment of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ
7AprilEasterCelebrated with get-togethers and feastings
8May – JulyCorpus ChristiCelebrated with elaborate dances that symbolize the battle between good and evil
9JulyPollera festivalCelebrated with contests, parades, food and music
10SeptemberFeria del mar Celebrated with thrill rides, seafood, water sports and local arts and crafts
11September International festival of the SeaCelebrated with folklores and dances
12SeptemberFestival de la Mejorana en GuararéCelebrated with Dance and music
13OctoberFestival de Cristo Negro de PortobeloCelebrated with a procession
14NovemberFiestas PatriasCelebrated with processions and parades
15DecemberSobresaltos dance festivalCelebrated with bullfights, horse parades and much more

1.Panama Jazz festival

Panama Jazz festival

With the Panama Jazz Festival, Panama welcomes summer. The festival of Panama draws international artists and also promotes Panama City to the jazz world.

The festival is the Danilo Pérez Foundation’s most important annual event is to rebuild the society through music and also in a constructive way.

2.Boquete Coffee and Flower Festival

Boquete Coffee and Flower Festival

Boquete develops with the Flower and Coffee Festival every January. This ten-day festival of Panama involves Boquete artisans ‘ popular coffee and stunning flowers as well.

The festival has been held in Boquete since 1984. The aim of the festival is to  develop agricultural development and also tourism. The fair includes Colombian, Ecuadorian, Bolivian folk groups and local bands.

3.Boquete Jazz and Blues festival

Boquete hosts this international music festival. It has developed into a popular festival since its introduction and it also sees foreigners as well.

Immediately during the Panama Jazz Festival, the festival begins, typically towards the end of Feb.

To check for dates and locations, you should search for the “Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival.”

4.CarnivalCarnival

Panama’s most huge Carnaval celebration is in the small town of Las Tablas on the Azuero Peninsula. The celebration here also has parades, floats, music, dancing, and serious partying.

The Las Tablas festival focuses on the coronation of the town’s two Carnaval Queens, one from Calle Arriba (high street) and one from Calle Abajo (Low Street).

The town breaks along those lines and establishes courts for their respective queen, or tunas.

Each court tries to outdo the other in song, dance, and dresses throughout  the festival.

As the queens’ parade floats around the city, their respective tunas follow and compose songs.

Then, they praise their queen and mock their opponent. The songs are fun and humorous. Every Tuesday night the party ends, just before the Ash Wednesday.

5.Festival de Diablos y Congos de portobelo

Festival de Diablos y Congos de portobelo

This festival is the Colon province’s most special representation of folklore.  The festival portray the tradition of dances and the interpretation of Afro-American culture.

Such dances have great historical significance in Afro-Panamanian tradition and Diablo is  a reflection of slave masters ‘ ferocity.

6.Semana Santa

Semana Santa

Semana Santa (Holy Week) is another widespread celebration that happens the week before Easter. During this time, cities in Panama are hosting religious events.

It includes Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Many Panamanians take a break from work and go straight to the beach. You can expect the crowds along the coast during Semana Santa’s visit.

7.Easter

Easter

The country’s principal religion is Roman Catholicism, so Lent is popular throughout the amazing fanfare.

During holy days, members of the family go to church. Then they rejoice themselves with get-togethers, and banquets for Easter. Easter falls in April Month.

8.Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is a Christian festival symbolic of the Eucharist

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Corpus Christi is a Christian festival symbolic of the Eucharist. The origins are from 1251 when it was approved by Pope Urban IV. 

Corpus Christi lasts nearly two weeks in La Villa. The festival includes  dances that symbolize the war between good and evil.

Colorful outfits repaint both the devils and the angels. They dance and perform their respective roles in turns.

Ultimately, good predominates over evil, and they beat the devils.

The festival takes place both on La Villa streets and in its churches. The dates differ from year to year, but it’s generally held between May and July.

9.Pollera festival

Pollera festival

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The town of Las Tablas hosts a festival during the month of July. The Panamanian Pollera is one of the most glamorous cultural costumes in the country. This festival takes place in the park of Belisario Porras.

The festival sees the celebrations for Santa Librada, Las Tablas ‘ patron saint. The most awaited element of the festival is the National Pollera Competition. People from across the world bid for the Margarita Lozano trophy.

The Pollera-a broad and finely designed skirt popular in Panamanian folk dances. It has become an emblem of Panamanian national pride. Las Tablas Pollera Festival highlights the history and craftsmanship of the national costume.

Hundreds of participants compete in the categories of best cross stitch, embroidery, chalk, shadow, regional gala, and Montuna. The contest ends in a queen’s crowning and a parade marking the festival’s conclusion.

10.Feria del mar

Feria del mar

Feria del Mar, from Bocas Del Toro, is a four-day festival that attracts thousands of people to the island. The festival is for the fishermen and the ocean.

With the perfect mix of sunshine, beaches, and local arts and crafts, visitors from all over Bocas join take part the event.

They pay tribute to the captivating Caribbean Sea. People dance to the beat of Calypso, Blues, Reggae, Bachata, Salsa, Merengue. 

11.International festival of the Sea

International festival of the Sea

The International Sea Festival is a celebration of the marine culture and resources in the region, and partly an educational experience as well. The festival is an opportunity to educate local people and visitors about the environment .

They raise awareness through information pavilions set up throughout Bocas del Toro.

However, it’s not all serious business, as the International Sea Festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors every year.

People come there to get into the water, can celebrate by listening to music and eating local foods.

12.Festival de la Mejorana en Guararé

Festival de la Mejorana en Guararé

Dance groups from all over Panama and from other Latin American countries will join this annual event. Festivities include a colorful procession, where a parade takes place down the streets.

Folkloric dances which were once part of other festivities elsewhere are often used only at this event today.

For e.g., this is the only festival where dance is performed, known as La Pajarita (Little Bird). Unlike the Devil dances, La Pajarita seems to be pervaded by a cool, sacred nature.

13.Festival de Cristo Negro de Portobelo

Festival de Cristo Negro de Portobelo

In Afro Panamanian mythology, the diablo is said to reflect the slave masters ‘ ferocity. Thousands of diablos march through the streets of the colonial city of Portobelo in March .

Once in every 2 years, they wear the masks of the wolves, ghosts, spirits, and witches. The people enjoy the diablos in the rhythm of the congo drums and music.

14.Fiestas Patrias

Fiestas Patrias

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It is one of Panama’s most important cultural activities on the calendar, Fiestas Patrias marks the independence of the country from Colombia in 1903 as well as the nation’s Flag Day, making it an especially patriotic affair.

This annual festival occurs in Panama City, so it is a must-see for tourists who spend time in the capital of Panama.

The Panamanian flag is a major thing since it was designed during its independence. For this purpose, Panama has not one, but two independence days, making the Fiestas Patrias a very essential celebration.

Distinctive Panamanian culture is showed during this event, as a huge parade is often led by a female dancer dressed in pollera ̈.

During the celebration,  many people make the annual pilgrimage to  the Church of San Felipe, where the Black Jesus figure stands on the left of a majestic golden Altar.

This remarkable platform has extensive carvings of the path of Jesus to Golgotha, where He was crucified. Many pilgrims pay respect to their Lord and some dress up in purple robes as a sign of repentance for their sins.

15.Sobresaltos dance festival

Sobresaltos dance festival

This wild celebration of music, is performed in December each year at Casco Viejo, Panama City. The festival is  modern and it’s fun!

You can join local Facebook migrant communities so that you can find bird-watching groups, theater groups and all sorts of other activities.

If you’re interested in exploring the village areas, you’ll find some good rodeos, horse parades, and even local bullfights. But they won’t hurt the beasts, they only show off their skills!

Related questions

1.What is the most popular holiday in Panama?

Carnival is probably the most popular in Panama when it comes to holidays and festivals of Panama. It is also the official public holiday, accompanying Ash Wednesday.

2.Why is Carnival celebrated in Panama?

 It is celebrated with Dance, Party, and Get Wet. People started Celebrating in Panama since the early 1900s; this huge party starts four days before the Ash Wednesday. People stop their work and the streets are lined with parades, dancing and partying.

3.What is Panama famous for?

Because of the Panama Canal, Panama is recognized as a transit country. The country is popular for its canal, birding, whitewater rafting, and also snorkeling tours. Panama develops a natural bridge across land which connects South and Central America.

4.What is the culture like in Panama?

The history of Panama is a combination of African, American Indian, North American, and Spanish roots.They reflect in their typical arts and crafts, literature, worship, athletics, and cuisine. Panamanian music is popular all over Latin America and the country is also famous for its many festivals.

5.Do they celebrate Christmas in Panama?

Many people worship at their church in the morning on Christmas Eve, 25th December. Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve and also on Christmas Day. Panama’s other big holiday is Epiphany or Dia de los Reyes (Kings Day), when the kids get gifts.

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