We have a couple of traditions in Boquete that are celebrated in almost all of the country of Panama. In November, we have parades to celebrate our independence from Colombia, and from Spain.
January 9th is Martyr’s Day. You cannot drink or buy alcohol on Martyr’s Day. It is also prohibited by law to play loud music on this day because it is supposed to be solemn. It is a day of remembrance of the difficult days Panama had under the Americans relative to the Panama Canal. There is no resentment against Americans on this day. It is just a reminder of how we got our territory back.
November is what we call the “lazy month” because we have a lot of holidays in November. He holidays in November are the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, and 28th. During these days, most people go out to see the kids in the parades playing drums and other instruments in the marching band. People tend not to work as hard in November as they usually do during the rest of the year.
Boquete does not celebrate Carnival but you can go to a Dolega, which is a city 15 to 20 minutes away from Boquete and there they do celebrate Carnival. Carnival is celebrated in Dolega with loud music and a lot of alcohol. You would see a lot of ladies wearing shorts. People get sprayed with water and there is a lot of partying and dancing.
The only holiday that is unique to Boquete is the celebration of the Foundation Day of the District of Boquete, which is celebrated every year. On this day, people go to the municipality to hear a few words, and the kids have a parade.
Boquete also celebrates the Flower Festival, where a lot of different entrepreneurs come to Boquete to sell their crafts or products. During the Flower Festival, they put up a discotheque or two and some locals complain about the noise because it could run from 4:30 PM until 6 AM the following morning. They complain about the noise since the festival lasts for several days. The Flower Festival itself is very famous because a lot of people from all over the world come to Boquete to celebrate.
We also have a Jazz Festival, which is basically organized by the foreigners. Both the Flower Festival and the Jazz Festival are celebrated during summer, around January.
(Pictured: flowers in Boquete.)