How customs and traditions are typically observed for Panama’s National Public Holidays.
Dia Feriado is the Spanish phrase for holiday. Due to its diversity, Panama celebrates an interesting mix of cultural and religious holidays. Some provinces have their own unique celebrations, too, so be sure to check into those if you’re interested!
Panama may observe holidays a little differently from your home country. Here’s an overview of some of the customs:
- When national holidays fall on a weekend, workers will have the following Monday off with pay. November is the heaviest month for holidays and businesses may want to plan accordingly by scheduling less work and more vacations during this time. If there is one “work day” between a holiday and a weekend, many employees will take that day off (whether scheduled or not!).
- Banks, government offices, schools and some businesses are closed. ATM machines often run out of funds, so plan ahead if you’ll require cash.
- The sale of alcohol is forbidden on some holidays from noon the day before until noon the day after. Drinking in public is illegal (although you may see it happening!) and may potentially result in a fine or arrest. DUI laws also apply.
- Carnival, a huge “street festival” which is the local version of Brazil’s Mardi Gras, is the largest celebration in Panama and attracts thousands of participants. With so many people out celebrating, street crime could be a concern, so stay vigilant if you join in the festivities. Water is often sprayed in public, so be prepared to get wet! Remember also that there can be heavy traffic during holidays and plan accordingly.
Here is a list of Panama’s national and public holidays for 2014.
|Weekday||Date||Holiday name||Holiday type|
|Wednesday||Jan 1||New Year’s Day||National holiday|
|Monday||Jan 13||Martyr´s Day||National holiday|
|Monday||Mar 3||Carnival||National holiday|
|Tuesday||Mar 4||Carnival/Shrove Tuesday||National holiday|
|Wednesday||Mar 5||Carnival/Ash Wednesday||National holiday|
|Thursday||Apr 17||Maundy Thursday (½ day)||Christian, Common Local holiday|
|Friday||Apr 18||Good Friday||National holiday, Christian|
|Saturday||Apr 19||Holy Saturday||Observance, Christian|
|Sunday||Apr 20||Easter Day||Observance, Christian|
|Thursday||May 1||Labor Day / May Day||National holiday|
|Friday||Aug 15||Foundation of Old Panama City||Common Local holiday|
|Monday||Nov 3||Independence Day||National holiday|
|Tuesday||Nov 4||Flag Day||Common Local holiday|
|Wednesday||Nov 5||Colon Day||National holiday|
|Monday||Nov 10||Shout in Villa de los Santos||National holiday|
|Friday||Nov 28||Independence from Spain||National holiday|
|Monday||Dec 1||Day off for Independence from Spain||National holiday|
|Monday||Dec 8||Mother’s Day||National holiday|
|Wednesday||Dec 24||Christmas Eve (½ day)||Common Local holiday|
|Thursday||Dec 25||Christmas Day||National holiday, Christian|
|Wednesday||Dec 31||New Year’s Eve ( ½ day)||Common Local holiday|