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Panama’s Chinese Community has Celebrated its New Year Since 1854 with the Arrival of the Dragon

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This Saturday, the large Chinese community in Panama gave a joyful welcome to the Chinese New Year and the arrival of the wooden dragon. A symbol in the zodiac of this ancient culture that evokes power, vitality and good fortune.

The Spring Festival, as the Lunar New Year is also known, began with a thunderous explosion of firecrackers when from the balcony of a Temple in Chinatown at the entrance to the capital’s old town, a wooden dragon blessed the call Lion Dance.

Every year, this event attracts a large number of tourists, local citizens, the media and passersby to the celebration points in Panama City and nationwide.

170 Years Celebration in Panama

Chinese New Year has been celebrated in Panama since 1854, and this year 2024 marks 170 years of celebrating it.

According to the Chinese community in Panama, it was previously a celebration that took place only in the homes of the Panamanian Chinese community. However, in recent decades, Chinese New Year has ceased to be an exclusive celebration of the community; it is now a national celebration. A holiday that for three years has been designated as a country event.

During this celebration, all commercial premises belonging to citizens of the Chinese community look decorated for the date.

The Chinese community of Panama, which began to settle in the mid-1800s attracted by the construction of the railroad, is considered one of the most populous in the region, and represents around 4% of the Panamanian population according to official data, with a very notable and solid influence in the commercial sector.

After the establishment of diplomatic relations between Panama and China in June 2017, business ties have been strengthened, and large Chinese consortiums are in charge of works in the country.

It is customary to hang figures of the new sign, in this case the dragon, a mythological animal revered in China for its ability to control the wind and rain, to guarantee a good harvest.

The dragon is worshiped in China to the point that many couples decide to get married or have children during its year due to the good auspices it carries.

This year celebration from Changuinola, in Bocas del Toro to Panama and Colón. All provinces will have celebrations, especially as a Country Event” until February 25.

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