The National Folkloric Festival of Mejorana
Mejorana festival in Panama is the most renowned folkloric fiesta that is celebrated by Panamanians with great enthusiasm, music, dances and various other performances. This festival is an integral part of life of the Panamanians.
Mejorana is named after the famous folkloric instrument of Panama, which is similar to guitar.This festival was started by Professor M F Zarate and his friends in 1949. Their whole purpose was to bring the various Panamanian folkloric groups together to maintain and motivate Panama’s folklore. This festival takes place in a small town of Guarare in the month of September. Today, even after sixty plus years, the National Folkloric Festival of Mejorana continues to endorse and protects the Panamanian folklore and traditional customs.
Worldwide visitors gather in Guarare to enjoy the various events at Mejorana that includes singing, traditional dances, musical performances, oxcart parade, bull fighting, competitions and other folkloric expressions. Mejorana folkloric welcomes all the visitors to participate in the events and performances. This festival reflects true Panamanian lifestyle and colors, and it is celebrated together with the folkloric groups and visitors. The local people also encourage the tourists to participate and experience the true Panamanian festival and life.
The festival takes its name from a traditional musical instrument mejoranera, which is a bit smaller than the Spanish guitar. This musical instrument has only four strings. It is usually developed and manufactured at the various workshops across the country.
Apart from preserving, spreading and enjoying the exotic Panamanian folklore in the Caribbean tradition, this festival exhibits colorful dances and demonstrations. The popular activities at Mejorana include tunas, the spectacular Parade of the Carriages and the traditional floats. Since all Panamanian festivals are enjoyed all day and night, Mejorana too has a brilliant nightlife and parties. This festival also has a Queen dressed up in traditional costumes. All commercial and government entities take part in the festival.
Every year the festival draws thousands of visitors across Panama and from abroad, as this festival is worth attending to witness the unique traditions and performances of Panama.