The town of Las Tablas celebrates Santa Librada every July and if you’re in the area, it’s not to be missed. The town’s population swells during this popular weekend celebration, which is the second largest festival in Las Tablas, next to Carnaval.
The festival takes place this upcoming weekend from Saturday to Tuesday (July 19 to 22) . Santa Librada is the patron saint of Las Tablas, and statues of her likeness can be spotted throughout the town. In preparation for the weekend festivities, streets, houses and businesses in Las Tablas are adorned with blue and red flags, the two colors associated with the beloved saint.
Processions take to the main roads in town where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Panama’s rich folkloric history. It’s an extraordinary sight to watch thousands of devoted Panamanians march through the streets behind the statute of Santa Librada.
The celebration is characterized by typical folkloric events such as the National Pollera Festival when the annual pollera queen will be crowned. The pollera is the national dress for Panamanian women and quite easily could be one of the most beautiful traditional dresses in the world. These dresses are all handmade and can take nearly a year to make. They are certainly not cheap either, each one costs thousands of dollars.
The four day celebration also includes street parties, food vendors, folkloric displays and concerts by well known Panamanian tipico artists such as Ulpiano Vergara. This festival is hands down the best way to get a taste of Panama’s rich history. In one weekend you can enjoy tipico music, foods, dress, dances and religious services all in the same town. The festival is not a show put on for tourists so you really can get a genuine sense of Panamanian traditions.
Festival Santa Librada is considered a family event, but like most things Panamanian, there is certainly a spectacular nightlife that accompanies the festival.
Next week we will post a full review of the weekend’s events.
|Written by Rebecca Tyre|
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