Celebrate Carnival 2014 with Panama!
It is a 5-day event unlike any other in the country, and Panama City hosts the 2nd-largest Carnival celebration in the world. Think you can dance party non-stop with the best of them? Keeping pace with this crowd would be proof.
Doing business in Panama? Don’t think about it for another week while locals are donning costumes, turning up their speakers, dancing and dancing some more–then recovering from Carnival.
Hotels and restaurants host musicians and special events in order to draw the crowd their direction; check your favorite spots for what they have scheduled through the weekend.
History of Carnival
With its roots in Catholicism, the premise of Carnival is getting rid of your sins and preparing to start the Lent period. Through time it has evolved to an opportunity to indulge before Lent and then just an excuse to let loose like never before. Panamanians and visitors dancing in the streets have little worry about anyone’s religious practices through the modern Carnival festival.
Carnival 2014 Schedule in Panama
Panamanians in every city will be celebrating. Panama City hosts the largest Carnival in the country, and each region loosely follows the same schedule.
FRIDAY: Carnival starts the Friday before Ash Wednesday, which for 2014 Carnival is February 28. Friday night, expect an opening ceremony of sorts. In Panama City there will be a Carnival queen and attendants presented to symbolically look over the following days’ parades and parties. Dancing in the streets begins!
SATURDAY: By afternoon, people begin to join the street festival again. There is a small parade and all day and night you’ll find pockets of various music and crowds moving from one stereo to another. Vendors set up early with goods from crafts to food, drinks and water balloons.
SUNDAY: Traditionally, the Sunday festival and parades honor Panama’s colorful national costume called pollera.
MONDAY: Ready for more parades, music and dancing?
TUESDAY: March 4 will offer the biggest party of all. Over-the-top parade entries show the competitive spirit within the town to put on the most elaborate show. Spectators from all backgrounds wander through town with festive costumes, masks, tossing confetti of their own and drink and dance all through the night. The festival is symbolically over when someone burns a sardine on the beach on the morning of Ash Wednesday.
Expect the Carnival vigor to last until sunrise on Wednesday, even if you don’t.