Halloween in Panama is not a big holiday, especially for children. I saw a news clip on NBC today that Americans will have spend $6.9 Billion on Halloween (costumes, candy, make up, etc) just this year. That’s more than the budget of some small countries. I saw pictures that our granddaughter had 3 different costumes this year. I love Halloween and always made my own costumes for me and my children. But as kids behavior changed, I began to dread Halloween in Florida because it became a night of thrown eggs, scratched cars and general vandalizing. So we became the house that locked up by 8 PM and turned the lights out so the older kids would just walk on by.
Halloween in Panama is not a children’s holiday but is becoming very big among adults. There were several local parties yesterday. Most of the gringo parties were for our growing number of children in town. One adult party was a fundraiser for Amigos de Animales. We ended up going to Mike’s for about an hour before heading to our final destination. Mike’s was for adults and almost everyone was in costume. Excellent music and dancing.
Getting a costume is no easy feat in Panama. You can order from Amazon for a pre-made costume, gather parts and make-up if you are creative or you can be just be super creative to be able to use only what is available here. We planned ahead and brought many items from the States where everything is available.
We ended up at Mi Jardin where people wore the best costumes went since there were some big prizes awarded. It was primarily a Panamanian party and people came from as far as David dressed in some awesome stuff.
One very tall guy painted himself blue, added a loin cloth and some braids and was one of the creatures from Avitar. He ended up winning Second Place. There was an elaborate angel, many Day of the Dead people, a samurai, pirates, lots of cats and devils, and an array of others. My friend, Julian, handmade his own mummy from latex.
The party technically began at 10 PM. In reality, people really began coming about midnight. The costume contest began – probably long after we were home, showered and in bed.
There were few gringos at the party and Latin music prevailed. Everyone took pictures and asked strangers to take pictures with them. Drinks were free flowing and people came by with shots – Rum and vodka only. No glasses needed, just open your mouth and they pour it in. Lots of fun with great music!
The site, Mi Jardin, has a new owner. Gone are the free gardens for people to admire. In it’s place, there’s a lovely garden coffee shop by day and a modern nightclub for nights like last night. I don’t know how long the party went on but it was just getting started at 1 AM. We drove by Mike’s on the way home and it was very quiet – a big difference between gringo parties and Panamanian parties.
Who won the BIG prize? Julian!!! Congratulations!!!