FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!!!!

Hello and Happy 2015 from Gorgona, Panama. This has been an amazing place to ring in the new year.  It started just before christmas when these started showing up.

Take me to your leader...
Take me to your leader…

These are called Muñecos or Judas dolls. This alien one is quite fancy compared to most. They are mostly life-size,

She is kinda short...
She is kinda short…

and some can be very detailed.

Details...
Details…

As we drive up and down the road, more and more of these guys and girls pop up.

A group of mañcus
A group of muñecos…

They are built to resemble movie figures, action hero’s, politicians and maybe even a dis-liked family member.

Miss Panama...
Miss Panama…
Spiderman...
Spiderman…

They can even represent criminals or hoodlums

El Chompira...
El Chompiras…
Someone doesn't like the baby???
Someone doesn’t like the baby???

Then, at the stroke of midnight, on New Years Eve, these dolls are set on fire, much like our New Mexico friend Zozobra. The muñecos also have all of a persons “baggage” from the year in it to be burned up with the muñecos

Another tradition involves a specially made loaf of bread called “Rosca Especial de Huevo” translated to “Special Thread of Egg”.

Loaf of Bread...
Loaf of Bread…

This is a sweet bread, ours was topped with almonds, that is very good. And while it is sold during the year, it seems that most people only buy it during the holiday. It is somewhat reminiscent of the King Cake that is sold and served in France and Louisiana during the epiphany season. It is served to family and friends in the hope of a prosperous new year.

One other tradition we enjoyed last night was the eating of 12 grapes, one for each chime of the clock at 12, midnight. You then count the seeds you get and then play that number during the next year in the lottery. Now, before you ask, we used seedless grapes and I haven’t even begun to figure out the lottery down here yet. That will be a post later on…

Now, I know many people in the states grumble about people shooting off illegal fireworks on New Years Eve. In Panama, there is nothing illegal about it. EVERYBODY shoots off fireworks. At midnight, we hit the beach and no matter where we looked, fireworks were flying into the air. Heres a look…

IMG_5729 IMG_5731

The fireworks went on for over an hour…

IMG_5735_Fotor IMG_5736

Almost all of them purchased by private persons…not the city or a business…

IMG_5741 IMG_5742 IMG_5748

We were close enough to feel the heat…

IMG_5762 IMG_5867

It was spectacular…

IMG_5907 IMG_5938

And lest you think the party ended after the last firework went off, today the beach is crowded with people

New Years Day 2015
New Years Day 2015

IMG_5969

out enjoying the sun and surf and the promises of a new year…

 

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