Today is Christmas, always a fun holiday in Panama. There are signs of Christmas well in advance, particularly in the stores who have decorations and gifts for sale a month or two ahead of time. Later on, closer to Christmas, some of the downtown streets are closed for shoppers and vendors. There is a tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight, and having fruit available for guests so there was lots of that for sale, along with the traditional holiday bread.
As we walked around downtown, we also got to hear a bit of a student orchestra in the park. The director took a pause at one point to talk to the audience about the importance of music and arts in the schools, and to call on everyone to do all they could to support music and art because it does such good things for the kids in many ways.
I love the Christmas lights around town. Some houses have some amazing displays. Here are just a very few examples.
One home nearby had the most incredible thing! There was a whole little city set up in front of the house, and bleachers for people to sit and look at it. There was a recording of the story of Jesus and as the story went on, different parts of the set would light up. I think it covered more than Christmas. We didn’t stay for the whole thing but I did hear one part that talked about Easter and the resurrection. I thought about going back another night to listen to the whole thing and get better photos but it never happened. Maybe next year.
Christmas eve is the big night with festivities, parties, and especially the fireworks building to a climax at midnight. Then, after midnight, it’s time for dinner, phone calls to far away family and friends, and opening of gifts. Depending on a person’s stamina this can be the end of the celebration, or the party can go on until morning. Christmas day is then a quieter day for families to enjoy time at home and rest up from the festivities.
The firework stands are a definitely sign of the holidays for both Christmas and New Years.
Merry Christmas! KABOOM 😀
Next comes New Years with some of the same, and some new and fun things!