The Carnival in Panama that comes four days before Ash Wednesday between February and March is celebrated with utmost joy and fervor. Work takes a backseat, and costumes and confetti make their way out of the closet, with the next 96 hours spent in high-spirited gaiety.
Panama is the southernmost country of Central and North America. The country connects North and South America, and is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Known for its rich cultural heritage and innumerable beautiful beaches, Panama also has the second largest economy in Central America. It is also the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America. Let us see some amazing facts about this beautiful country's history, culture, sport, food, climate, clothing, etc.
Flag Of Panama
|Official Name||Republic of Panama|
|Independence Days||November 28, 1821 (from Spain); November 3, 1903 (from Colombia)|
|President||Juan Carlos Varela|
|Vice President||Isabel Saint Malo|
|Currencies||Panamanian balboa, United States Dollar|
|Climate||Tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)|
|Location and Borders||Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica|
|Area||Total: 78,200 sq km (Land: 75,990 sq km; Water: 2,210 sq km)|
|Industries||Construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling|
|Government System||Constitutional Democracy|
|National Animal||Panamanian Golden Frog|
|National Bird||Harpy Eagle|
|National Anthem||Hymn of the Isthmus|
|National Flower||Holy Ghost Orchid|
There is no other place in the world except Panama, where you can see the sunrise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic. This is due to the country's serpentine shape.
In Panama, you can swim in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans on the very same day.
Only 80 kilometres of land (at its narrowest distance) in Panama divides the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean.
Only 80 kilometers of land (at its narrowest distance) in Panama divides the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean.
The Panama Canal alone generates one-third of Panama's entire economy.
The U.S. dollar is Panama's official currency, but the national currency is Panamanian Balboa. Panama was the first among all the Latin American countries to adopt the U.S. currency as its own.
Panama has one of the most advanced telecommunications systems in Latin America. This is because most major submarine fibre cables cross the Panama Canal, either by land or water.
It is very important to dress appropriately in Panama. If you enter a government institution, a bank, or even a supermarket wearing shorts or skirts above the knees, the security will probably ask you to leave.
The Panama railroad was at one time the highest-priced stock in the New York stock, at USD 295 a share.
Panama is home to more birds than the United States and Canada combined―the reason for the country setting several world records in the area of bird watching and fishing. It has 975 species of birds recorded; 11 of them are National endemics, and 107 species are Regional endemics.
As many as 10,000 different species of plants including 1,500 varieties of trees, 1,200 varieties of orchids, and 678 ferns grow in Panama.
The Panama City was completely destroyed when a pirate named Henry Morgan set it on fire on Jan 28, 1671. The city was reestablished two years later, and the site is still in ruins. However, it is now a tourist attraction, and is called "Panamá Viejo."
Baseball is the national sport of Panama. At least 140 Panamanian players have played professional basketball, which is more than any other country in Central America.
Panamanians believe that the word 'Panama' means "abundance of fish, trees, and butterflies."
It is believed that the Panamanian Golden Frog, the country's national animal, brings good luck to those who see it.
With 5,637 kilometers of coastline and more than 1,518 islands, Panama has innumerable beaches.
The wildlife in Panama is the most diversified among the Central American countries.
As of 2003, Panama had the smallest population in Central America (3,120,000).
The Panama Canal was built between 1904 and 1914 by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Mireya Moscoso was elected as the first female president of Panama in 1999.
The dam constructed across the Chagres River in Gatun created Gatun Lake, the largest man-made lake in the world at that time.
On August 15, 1914, cargo ship Ancon became the first vessel to transit the Panama Canal.
More than 60,000,000 pounds of dynamite were used to construct the Panama Canal.
The Panama Canal is one of the greatest man-made structures ever built in Central America. It is now considered one of the world's 7 modern wonders.
Panama is known as one of the most diverse locations in the world for exotic wildlife. There are plants, animals, and other natural occurrences that occur nowhere else in the world, but Panama.
It is one of the few countries in the world that decided not to have a military force. Instead, it has the Panamanian Public Forces.
Due to accidents and health problems, 5,609 workers lost their lives constructing the Panama Canal.
This country has more United States Expats than any other country in the world.
Apart from its cultural tourism, it is also well-known for its excellent medical care―the reason it has become a hot spot for medical vacations.
Panama is inhabited by various indigenous groups such as Bokota, Embera, Guaymi, Kuna, Teribe, Wounaan, etc.
Pollera, Panama's traditional and national costume, which is made up of cotton and wool, is worn during festivals and celebrations.
Women of the Kuna tribe wear blouses with beautifully embroidered panels called molas.
In earlier times, the baskets woven by the tribes were used for various purposes, but are now made exclusively for the tourists.
The Panama hat is not made in Panama, but Ecuador.
Panama set a world record when 5,084 children painted a 30-panel, 75,345 sq. ft. mural as a part of the 100th-anniversary celebration for the Panama Canal, for three and a half minutes.
This country broke Australia's record for the longest bikini parade when 450 participants marched across the Panama City Beach in 2012.
It set a world record in 1985 in bird watching, when 885 species were identified in merely 24 hours, during a bird count organized by the National Audubon Society.
Make sure you visit Panama during Christmas if you are a foodie. There are a hundred varieties of chicken that are served during this time of the year, along with various other traditional dishes and drinks like Ron Ponche.