Here are some new images of what Carnaval in Las Tablas really is all about. The last day of celebrations, before Lent sets in and the season of penance starts, is one to be enjoyed by one and all. At least, that is the philosophy in this small colonial city. If you are religious or not is irrelevant and I suspect most people are not. Still, it’s a tradition and nobody wants to miss this: from spending your day in the plaza to watching the fireworks that end the celebration. A breathtaking show!!
Thousands and thousands of people take to the streets. Ash Wednesday is a working day, so they feel obliged to dance, drink and enjoy to the last minute! It is truly amazing. This year the sun was shinning, it was very hot, not a cloud in the sky. The cistern tanks were working overtime so nobody was complaining!
The queens come out in their floats all dolled up. How can they dance, keep smiling and stand for so long is a mystery to me. I am sure they receive training from professionals!!! Just looking at them makes me exhausted, remember this is the fourth day of long hours, little sleep and no privacy!! I have to admit, they seem to be having the time of their lives. Or is it that these are their fifteen minutes of Fame? For whatever reasons, hats off to these young women!!
All this is the First Act, the preparation for what comes later in the day. This the day to display Panamá’s National dress or costume, called Pollera. It requires infinite hours of labor, it’s done by hand and cost a pretty penny. The lace is handmade as well. Everything is regulated: the way it is ironed and the way you are supposed to wear it: what comes with it, how many chains, bracelets, what earrings, which flowers (called tembleques) you need, how many gold combs in your hair, what kind of shoes. It’s a never-ending list, but women all want one, which I have to say I never did or ever will!!! Still is de rigueur to have one these days in Panamá. Martes de Carnaval is the perfect day to show off yours and many women do. The queens come out in very simple floats so these works of art can be displayed to every advantage. ENJOY!!!!!
Thanks again to Pancho for the photos. José Domingo didn’t win…….maybe 2019?