Feliz Año Nuevo – Happy New Year

Celebrations in Panama are always fun and interesting, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. There are the expected midnight parties and lots of fireworks, of course, and something else I find especially interesting – the muñecos.

A muñeco is an effegy, often of a political figure, but it can be of absolutely anything the person wants. It can represent good things and wishes for the coming year, but it often represents frustrations and bad things from the past year which are set on fire at midnight and go up in smoke. I can think of a few bad years in my past that I would have loved to watch go up in smoke!

I think the interior provinces of Panama participate in this practice more, but I did see quite a few muñecos in our area, including one in our neighborhood that was great fun.

There is an interesting article HERE about the muñencos in Panama. I’m sure a Google search will bring up more if you are interesting in learning more.

Once again, it was a great neighborhood party. We were greeted, kissed on the cheek, and wishes Feliz Año Nuevo by so many people, and I had a great conversation with a new family down the street that I didn’t know before. If you want to have a good time here you only need to walk out your front door. That’s one of the many things I love about the Panamanian people.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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6 Responses to Feliz Año Nuevo – Happy New Year

  1. Happy New Year, Kris and Joel. I didn’t make a Muneco this year, but last year I made a Muneca. She contained all my vices, and she was too pretty to burn. lol Hope your new year will be fantastic!


  2. oldsalt1942 says:

    Very nice post, Kris. I didn’t see any Munecas around Boqueron, though. But there WERE fireworks galore, and I got a nice plate of New Years food,,,rice with guandu, ham and a homemade tamale. And here in my little neighborhood I didn’t see a single bottle of beer or other alcohol at all. Certainly not like back in the States where New Years Eve is drinker’s amateur night.


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