A Panama City Christmas
Christmas festivities begin with Mothers Day on December 8th. Painting and preparing the home is very common in Panama for the holidays. A full Christmas tree is set up at this time with the traditional lights, angel tree top, icicles, and other traditional ornaments just as in the states. Gifts and candy are purchased throughout the season.
During the day on December 24th, food preparation and house cleaning takes place. Some tradional Panamanian food is ham and tamales (a corn paste with tomato sauce, meats, olives, prunes, and spices wrapped in banana leaves and boiled). Fruitcake is a popular food item as well as potato salad with beets. Bowls of fruit decorate tables. The Panamanians listen to music as they await midnight to feast and visit family and friends. After eating, it is common for people to dance and celebrate in the streets. At midnight, gifts are allowed to be opened as well.
On Christmas Day, December 25th, most worship at their church in the morning. The rest of the day is spent visiting far-away family and friends and eating the same holiday foods.