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The Carnivals of Panama

The Carnivals of Panama
Photo by Ugur Arpaci on Unsplash

Welcome back to our Byte Blog! Continuing our Spanish learning journey with ViLaCa we will see time and time again all the fascinating topics our students will be learning! Last week our blog featured a volcano and its legends. This volcano is located between Chile and Argentina. Check out last week’s blog, The Lanín Volcano to learn more about its legends! The Carnivals of Panama.

This week our blog will feature something a bit more festive! Throughout Latin American carnivals are celebrated. The Carnivals of Panama are celebrated for four consecutive days. The clock starts four days prior to Ash Wednesday. This holiday ends on Wednesday at six am with the burial of the sardine. The festivities begin on Friday night with the coronation of the Carnival Queen. On Saturday morning it continues with the “mojaderas” that are performed in public or private squares with the tanker trucks that spray river water during the day into the afternoon along with lively music. At night the fun continues! Parade after parade with queens wearing carnival costumes on floats pass through the streets. 


“Whenever the queen goes out they shoot fireworks!The Carnivals of Panama.

In many towns the Carnival queens represent different tunas, or large groups of people. During the parade they are accompanied by these people who show up to outdo their rival tuna which is a part of the celebration and tradition. Each group leaves with two cars, the first filled with ladies and the second where the queen and her princesses go. Whenever the queen goes out they shoot fireworks! The five nights follow somewhat of a schedule: Friday, the queen is crowned at the headquarters of each neighborhood.

Saturday night the queen comes out in her coronation costume, on Sunday night you go out first on foot with a tuna and a drum and then walk with a murga, a group of musicians for the carnival. Monday is the most extravagant day for the queen, she comes out to display her biggest costume. On Tuesday, which is the last day, at night the queen emerges once more to show off her costume and the celebrations continue.


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