Happy Independence Day to Panama!

Happy Independence Day and Month to Panama!

Did you know that Panama has 5 dates celebrating its freedom and independence?

There are 5 days of celebrations in Panama during the month of November! You heard right, 5 National Holidays, 5 extra days off work! Panamanians love a celebration and November is a month to celebrate!

November 3rd

Separation Day – On November 3rd, Panama celebrates its separation from Grand Colombia. After their independence from Spain in 1821, Panama became part of Gran Colombia (a republic that included modern-day Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador). After the independence from Spain, Panama needed protection, so they looked towards a stronger neighbour to protect them, so they became part of the Republic of Gran Colombia. This turned out to be a costly decision. What followed were years of neglect and isolation by the Colombian government.

When the US increased its interest in the Panama Canal, they started clashing with the Colombia government overpayment and control of the canal. The problems began when Colombia refused to sign the Hay-Herran Treaty to construct a canal through Panama. A separatist movement started to form, and Colombia started troop movements towards Panama, which forced Panamanian leaders to finally declare the Republic of Panama a fully sovereign nation on November 3, 1903, with the support of the United States.

November 4th

Flag Day – Panamanians celebrate Flag Day every November 4th, the day after Panama declared its independence. On November 3rd and 4th there is an official parade in which government entities, public and private schools participate. The schools, the police and the firemen are accompanied by their own music bands and all wear full dress uniforms.

November 5th

Flag Day – November 5th is Panama’s version of Columbus Day, commemorating Christopher Columbus’s arrival to the Americas.

November 10th

First, cry for Independence – On November 10th, Panama remembers its first “Grito de Independencia” or cry for independence from Spain. On November 10, 1821, preceding the formal Independence, people from the town of la Villa de Los Santos wrote a letter to Simon Bolivar, which complained about the Spanish governor and asked Bolivar for revolutionary assistance.

November 28th

Independence Day – On November 28, 1821 Panamanians held an open town meeting where they declared Panama a sovereign entity and was freed from the control of the Spanish Monarchy, deciding to join Gran Colombia.

Celebrations fill the streets of Panama City this month as people dance on the streets, some wearing national folk attires and watching the military parade as they celebrate their independence, not from one, but two countries.

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