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With balmy year-round temperatures of 75°F to 85°F (24°C-29°C), any time is a great time to go to Panama, but there are a few considerations if you’re thinking of checking in this November. Known as ‘Independence Month’ because of the many national holidays, November is the month when the country seems to be ‘on pause’. You’ll need to be aware of this, as banks and public offices will be closed, but on the upside – it’s a month full of celebration!
Five, yes, five, of Panama’s most significant historical anniversaries fall in November: November 3 is the day of Panama´s separation from Colombia, November 4th was designated as Flag Day, November 5 is Colon day, November 10 is the day of the First Cry of Independence in La Villa de Los Santos and finally, November 28 is Panama’s Independence Day from Spain.
For the first two holidays, you can catch an official parade in which government, police, firemen, and schools march through the city, accompanied by formal music bands and all in full dress uniforms. The parade generally takes place on one of the main streets of Panama City which will be shut down to traffic on both of these days. Celebrations start at midnight with the ‘Firemen Band’ playing lively ‘dianas’ – traditional festival music played in the first hour of the special day.
If you’re there in November and you start to feel like everyone has coincidentally grabbed something red,blue, or white from their wardrobes you’re not crazy! Panamanians tend to dress in the colors of the flag, and you’ll see the national colours in bunting, streamers and banners all over the country. Missed the parades in Panama City? You might get lucky if you head to Chorrera, San Miguelito and other towns in the interior of the country.
So yes, the bank may be closed when you’re there – but with 5 days off work in the space of four weeks, Panamanians will be friendlier than ever!