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In June, two of the most historical villages on the Azuero Peninsula – Parita and La Villa de Los Santos – celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi. The religious-traditional celebration of Corpus Christi – or Body of Christ – is a rite of the Catholic Church to celebrate the belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ and his presence in the Eucharist. In Panama, the tradition of Corpus Christi goes back to colonial times, when the Spanish conquerors and the Catholic Church arrived to Latin America and started to evangelize the indigenous population. Corpus Christi nowadays is a colorful celebration where visitors to the Azuero Peninsula can observe an interesting fusion of religious believes with folkloric traditions.
Cubitá Tours as a strong supporter of local traditions and the culture of the Azuero Peninsula in general, offered specially designed tours for our clients to experience Azuero’s folkloric expressions during the Feast of Corpus Christi. For us it is hugely important, to provide our clients with a first class experience of the local traditions and customs and all our tours include special added values. For the Corpus Christi tours the clients of Cubitá Tours were able to enjoy the following benefits:
- Private transfers from and to the hotel and no worries about finding a parking spot
- Reserved seating area with the best view on the festivities
- Traditional snack and refreshment served by a girl from the village
- Expert guide of Azuero’s traditions and folklore in order to fully understand the festivities
For Corpus Christi’s Eve we took our clients to the historical village of Parita in order to enjoy the ritual called “Cuarteo del Sol” (Quartering the Sun). With this traditional ritual performed at noon, four devils appear one by one on the village’s main plaza in order to perform a dance. The devils then make a diabolical pact quartering the sun and thereby dividing the world in four parts – one for each of the devils.
On the day of Corpus Christi we had an early start and took our clients to La Villa de Los Santos where we experienced, how the stunning carpets of flowers were prepared by different groups. We then enjoyed a short tour at the “Museo de la Nacionalidad” – the house where La Villa de Los Santos declared its independence from Spain on November 10, 1821. Afterwards we enjoyed the mass of Corpus Christi – a special celebration and the only day in the entire catholic calender, where the devils are allowed to enter the church. In order to enter, the different devils ask the archangel permission to enter the church and they turn the fearful devil’s masks away from the Blessed Sacrament. The different traditional dances of the Corpus Christi celebration all make their entrance into the church in order to worship the Blessed Sacrament. After mass, the traditional Procession of Corpus Christi takes place, where the Blessed Sacrament is carried over the carpets of flowers through the village, followed by the colorful folkloric dances of Panama.
If you missed this year’s celebration of Corpus Christi and are interested in the traditions and folklore of the Azuero Peninsula you will sure enjoy our next special tours experiencing the Pollera Festival (July), El Manito de Ocú (August) or the Mejorana Festival in Guararé (September).
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