In January, for a week, Panama Jazz Festival takes place at various sites in Panama City. In addition to Panama and Latin American talent, the event brings real music stars coming from Europe, the USA and Canada that show their talent, including free concerts to the public (no charge). It is organized by the Danilo Perez Foundation.
From January through March are full of national fairs throughout the country, including one of the biggest of them in Veraguas, Sona, Industrial, Agricultural, Craft and Tourism Fair. The Veraguas Fair Board prepares programs that range from traditional dances with the best national artists to the hottest night clubs in the country, which combined with the exhibitions of all kinds of merchandise and handicrafts, fair rides, the beauty of the landscape and numerous other attractions represent a significant reason to visit the town and the surrounding region.
This fair benefits the entire population, from small craft makers and merchants that offer their services for dining or lodging to the large companies that make their presence known at this spectacular event. Carnaval (carnival) is one of the biggest celebrations over the four days preceding Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Music and dancing culminates in parades on Mardi Gras. Celebrations are biggest in Panama City, Penonome and Las Tablas. Semana Santa (Easter week) is celebrated throughout Panama. Religious processions on Good Friday and Easter Sunday are held in most communities. By law, alcoholic beverages are not sold from 12 noon on Thursday to 12 noon on Sunday; celebrations at the Villa de Los Santos, on the Azuero Peninsula are particularly famous.
The Festival of the Black Christ at Portobelo on 21 October of each year, includes a parade of the famous life-size statue of the Black Christ, and attracts pilgrims from all over the country. From May through October runs the concerts season, organized by the National Association of Music. Classical music invades every month the National Theatre, featuring musicians and orchestras from around the world, from Tokyo to New York and Buenos Aires. Every two years, Panama houses the Book Fair where many publishing houses from all over the world exhibit their new products and support various cultural activities. The country is visited by several famous writers, who share their impressions with the public and dictate conferences. It is an event organized by the Book Chamber, with the support of government.
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