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Panama Independence Day

Happy Independence Day and 118th Birthday, Panama!

Today is Panama Independence Day – the first of two such celebrations and an entire month of patriotic pride in Panama. We celebrate the only way we know how – by showcasing the beauty of Panama through Instagram.

November is a big month in Panama. They call November the “Mes de la Patria” (patriotic month), and when you check out all the things that happened in the past to make Panama what it is today, you’ll know why.

Panama has five main celebrations during its Mes de la Patria; two independence day celebrations, Flag Day, Colón Day, and First Call for Independence Day.

That’s a lot to take on board, so let’s explain.

Today, November 3, is the first of Panama’s two Independence Days, and the official name for it is Separation Day. November 3 marks the anniversary of Panama’s independence from Colombia in 1903. Some might say that independence from Colombia back then marked a new dependence on the United States, but that’s another story. Bottom line is, the Panama that exists now was born in 1903 when Colombian province of Panama went its own way.

The second Independence Day is on November 28, and marks the independence of the territory comprising Panama from Spain in 1828. This territory then joined Colombia, where it stayed until 1903.

This is why Panama has two independence days, both, ironically, in the same month.

The November 3 holiday marks the first of three consecutive days of celebration in Panama. November 4 is Flag Day, which celebrates the adoption of Panama’s flag. Then on November 5, it’s Colón Day. This day marks the stand down of Colombian troops in Colón, Panama, who were persuaded by the people not to march on them after the November 3 separation.

After these three days, there’s a little break in the celebrations until November 10, which marks Panama’s first call for independence from Spain in 1821. This put in play the turn of events that led to Panama’s independence from Spain on November 28 and subsequent joining of Colombia.

Confused? Don’t be. Just know that Panama has a lot to celebrate in November, starting today. Try not to overthink it. Just enjoy yourself.

To that end, we’ll do what we always do in this situation. We’ll turn to Instagram and offer you our most popular Panama photos of the last year, since November 3, 2020.

A lot has changed between Panama’s 117th and 118th birthdays. All of it for the better. This time last year, Panama was oscillating between heavy lockdowns, the most draconian in Central America, to combat the highest amount of Covid cases and deaths in the region. Panama was not in a happy place on November 3, 2020.

This year, Panama has the lowest caseload in the region and things are looking up for 2022 and beyond. So without further ado, let’s explore the beauty of Panama with our ten most popular Instagram images (photos and videos) of the past year, starting from number ten:

We hope you like our most popular Panama photos and videos of the past year.

To break it down a little bit, we have four images focussed on Panama City, two from Bocas del Toro, two from the Panama Canal, one from Isla Taboga, and one from Cerro Chame. We’d like to thank all the Instagrammers you see above for showcasing the beauty of Panama to the world, and wish them, and you, a wonderful Independence Day and Mes de la Patria!

James Dyde is the editor of He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.

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