Panama’s Public Holidays

I don’t need a holiday or a feast to feel grateful for my children, the sun, the moon, the roof over my head, music, and laughter, but I like to take this time to take the path of thanks less traveled. ~ Paula Poundstone

Panama seems to have a “holiday season” starting on the 1st of November and running through to Easter.  While there may be a couple of extra holidays compared to other countries, generally speaking the reason the offices are closed is that employers tend to provide employees with the options of working overtime in the weeks leading up to a holiday weekend, so that they can have an extra day or so off.  This is particularly common for Carnival, where Tuesday is a public holiday, but you find that most offices are closed Monday and Wednesday (or at least Wednesday morning) as well.

These are the official holidays in Panama, together with our comments regarding additional days which may be given off.

Date Description Comments
January 1 New Year’s Day If it falls on a Sunday, Monday is a public holiday.
January 9 Martyrs’ Day If it falls on a Sunday, Monday is a public holiday.
2015 – Feb 17 Shrove Tuesday Typically, in Panama, there is a 4 1/2 to 5 day weekend in celebration of “Carnavales”. Our office will be closed Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.
2015 – April 3 Good Friday Many businesses close at mid-day on Maundy Thursday. Monday, however, is not a public holiday here. Our office will be closed Good Friday.
May 1 Labor Day This is celebrated when it falls, unless on a Sunday, in which case the Monday is a public holiday.
August 15 Foundation of Panama City This is merely a banking holiday, but many businesses close, as neither banks nor Government offices are open. Our office will work with only a minimal staff.
November 3 Separation from Colombia Day Celebrated when it falls, unless on a Sunday, in which case the Monday is a public holiday.
November 4 Flag Day Banking Holiday. Our office will be closed, as all banks and Government offices are closed.
November 5 Colon Day Celebrated when it falls, unless on a Sunday, in which case the Monday is a public holiday.
November 10 Shout of Villa de los Santos Day Celebrated when it falls, unless on a Sunday, in which case the Monday is a public holiday.
November 28 Independence Day from Spain Celebrated when it falls, unless on a Sunday, in which case the Monday is a public holiday.
December 8 Mother’s Day Celebrated when it falls, unless on a Sunday, in which case the Monday is a public holiday.
December 24 Christmas Eve Typically many businesses close at midday. Our office, however, usually closes on the 23rd or so of December, and does not reopen for business until the 2nd of January
December 25 Christmas Day Celebrated when it falls, unless on a Sunday, in which case the Monday is a public holiday.
December 31 New Year’s Eve Typically many businesses close at midday.
Gray & Co. typically is closed over the Christmas / New Year’s period with a minimal staff available to handle any emergencies that clients may have.