I read somewhere in the past month that the Halloween holiday is now the most-celebrated holiday in the U.S. Hmmmm. I find that interesting, because that certainly wasn’t the case when we left the States five years ago.
Yes, it was celebrated. By both adults and kids alike. I always felt like Halloween was more for kids, but then at the same time, I recall multiple costume parties where we participated with major celebration (with all of our adult friends).
Halloween was always a big deal for us growing up in the U.S., and even for our children, with activities in the suburb we lived in at the church, at their school, and even at area malls. For the university crowd, it’s a cultural phenomenon to party on campus or at area bars and restaurants.
What About Halloween in Panama?
So, what about Halloween in Panama? First, one of the big challenges of bringing up kids in Panama is that you’re always looking for things to do. Halloween is no exception. Or, perhaps I should say, that the events and activities are more focused in small areas, versus widespread.
For school-aged children, you’ll find that Halloween is mostly limited to at-school activities, with a few at-home parties hosted by one family or another. Invitees are usually specific to the grade of the party-thrower. For teenagers, it’s the same thing. I haven’t heard of one costume party here for kids in the past week. In the States, there would be at least 50 invitations, and some we’d have to turn down!
For the crowd that’s of age (and in Panama, the drinking age is 18), a few bars will have a dress-up costume night out. But, again, I’ve seen one ad in the English speaking newspaper. One tour company is doing a Canal cruise and you must have a costume to get on board. And that’s the extent of it.
Read more about Halloween in Panama in my second book that’s just been published on Amazon Kindle (as of December 2013). It’s titled The Gringo Guide to Panama: More to Know Before You Go and is an accompaniment with this, and more about holidays in Panama and how they are different for expats. Enjoy!