Day 307 of 365 Things To Do in Panama

Day 307 of 365 Things To Do in Panama. Celebrate Independence Day!

Today begins the country-wide celebration of las Fiestas Patrias commemorating Panama’s separation from Colombia in 1903, it is also known as Colon Day and one of several public holidays in November.

Panamanians are very proud and celebrate with big parades. folklore dancing with traditional costumes, music and fireworks.

An official parade takes place 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. Celebrations begin at midnight and continue throughout the day with bands playing and fire works.

A brief overview of the holiday - after achieving independence from Spain in November 1821, Panama voluntarily became part of La Gran Colombia which was composed of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. This turned out to be a costly decision because there were years of neglect and isolation for Panama by the Colombian government.

After the failure of the French canal, Panama and Colombia’s relationship began to deteriorate. The United States was interested in taking over construction of the waterway, but Colombia refused to sign the Herran-Hay treaty. The U.S. began to secretly help Panama achieve independence at the same time Colombia began sending troops to the Caribbean coast of the isthmus. The United States sent support by way of the vessel, “Nashville,” which stood guard on the coast, with a stated need to protect the Panama railroad. The strong-arming tactic worked, and not a single drop of blood was shed in Panama’s ingenious separation from Colombia, officially formalized November 3, 1903, according to www.thevisitorpanama.com.

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