Panama differs from the rest of the countries because of its economy dedicated to service, its particular way of speaking, its geological history that completely changed the world, even for having the only interoceanic canal that connects the two largest oceans, among others. However, there is also a celebration that in the rest of the continent is celebrated in May, but that only in Panama is held in December.
Unique History like Every Mother
The first time Mother’s Day was celebrated in Panama was on May 11, 1924, a Rotary Club’s initiative, establishing it as a national holiday through a Decree approved by the President. However, a proposal was made to change the date to December 8, an initiative that came from the First Lady of the Republic, Hercilia de Arosemena, in 1930, a date that coincided with the religious festival of the Immaculate Conception. This date change was well received, when various ladies from different civic clubs knew that homage would be paid to the women and mothers of the entire Republic of Panama during such a special day. And in this way, by National Decree, one of the most important days for society began to be celebrated on December 8 in Panama.
Traditions that Continues Over Time
Every year, on December 8 in Panama, Panamanian families come together to dedicate it to that special being, who always cares about others, and who at home establishes norms, values, principles and behaviors, which contribute to the formation of our youth.
This celebration has evolved during its 92 years of existence, allowing society to create traditions that have been replicated for generations and that are part of the heart of Panamanian culture.
First, in Panama, December 8 is the day that officially begins the Christmas and New Year festivities. Although it is not official, it is a tradition that the society created to bind the entire season and elevate its meaning. A day when many families come together to celebrate and decorate the Christmas tree as well as the rest of the house.
It can be said that this is one of the most loved and significant traditions for mothers. It consists of hiring a musical group, originally a guitar trio with a lead singer, who arrive at the residence of the Celebrated mother in the middle of the Mother’s Day celebration singing romantic songs and oldies, sometimes with various mothers at that same place. These serenades are so enjoyed by all those present that in the end most of them end up singing the songs together with the musical group. In many cases, the musical trio or mariachis also know beforehand the musical tastes of the honored mother, making the moment more emotional.
Although the tradition began at midnight, today these serenades are performed at all hours as long as it is during Mother’s Day.
Tributes in Schools and Institutions
In Panama there is a tradition of carrying out activities and presentations in schools in honor of mothers prior to December 8. During these activities, the participating students recite poetry, perform dances and even small plays that praise the work of all mothers. During this activity, the mothers of the students are present, as well as the school personnel who have the privilege of being a mother. This same way of carrying out the activities is applied to the way in which the institutions carry out, often ending with a delicious lunch for all the honorees.
These traditions are accompanied by the classic gifts designed for each mother and bouquets of flowers, the favorite gift. However, the best tradition of all is to dedicate time to each mother and lovingly show appreciation for the great sacrifice they have made to move their children and family forward.