A fiery New Year’s Celebration in Santa Catalina was the burning of a four meter effigy or “muñeca”.
Built by female residents of Santa Catalina, this year’s Burning Woman theme was a Sea Nymph. Consistent with water worship that can be found in many cultures throughout the world, she represented waves, emotions, gifts of new life, abundance, purification, fertility, love, rain, and renewal.
Her frame was built with repurposed lumber and then woven with local plants and flowers.
Italian artist Cecilia Vittori wove a special basket that Burning Woman held in her hands to receive written messages and offerings.
She was created as a messenger to carry everyone’s gatitudes, hopes, dreams, dedications, and things they wish to release through the transition of the new year.
On the 31st,at the EsteroBeach, the public was invited to add their art and wishes for the new year by either tying a message onto the Sea Nymph or placing it in her basket.
Each year more people are participating in this interactive temporal form of art. Over a hundred messages, in multiple languages, adorned her this year.
With approximately 200 people in attendance, the women who helped to create Burning Woman set her free, igniting her at midnight at the Oasis New Year’s celebration.
As fireworks exploded overhead, people both Panamanian, and from all over the world, wished one another a happy new year and witnessed this ephemeral work of art be released into the ethers.
The creators of Burning Woman plan to continue this growing tradition, changing her theme each year, and improving and changing her design each time.