A Panamanian Christmas
Bringing Santa Claus to us. Christmas in Panama is a mixture of American and Spanish culture but more religious. For many years Panama never had an icon like Santa, we had Jesus Christ but, just recently, we have accepted Santa Claus as our co-icon for Christmas. The picture above is of our national bird, the harpy eagle, bringing Santa Claus to us celebrating the american part of Christmas.
Although we still celebrate "Christmas" there are still many differences in this cultural transition like:
- Christmas trees are traditional and a giant tree is erected at the Panama City beach where there are also spectacular boat parades which are accompanied by fireworks
- we still give presents on Christmas day, and we give small presents to the children out on "Dia de los Reyes"
- Festive Parades are important traditions. The festive floats are brightly decorated and the women wear dresses called "polleras" whilst the men wear "monunos"
- Fireworks are also used to announce Christmas day
- Santa's name in Spanish is "Papa Noel"