Whether you spell it Carnaval or Carnival, the fiesta begins the week before Lent begins and culminates the day before Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 day period of abstinence that lead up to Easter in the Catholic faith.
In Panama, it’s traditional that “devils” will be a big part of the festival, whether in Panama City, Bocas del Toro, or anywhere in between. These costumed creatures are symbolically meant to scare evil spirits away with their antics.
The larger the devil the more frightening and effective it is supposed to be, and those who wear the costumes covet the most impressive ones. It has become quite the competition. If you can overtake one as a regular person, then the next year you’ll be able to wear that devil costume. If you’re already costumed and succeed, the loser’s costume will be yours next year.
The devils are also known for doing mischievous things, like smacking people with a whip if they are challenged, so be careful!
Other posts about Carnival in Panama include:
We have more about Bocas del Toro, as well:
- Two Days in Bocas del Toro, Panama
- A Snorkeling Trip Under Bocas Del Toro
- Explore the Islands of Bocas del Toro, Panama
- Snorkeling in Bocas del Toro, Panama