Handsome Bull Festival in Anton
PANAMA. Folk traditions abound in Panama, and a clear example is the “Festival del Torito Guapo” (the handsome bull festival) celebrate...
PANAMA. Folk traditions abound in Panama, and a clear example is the “Festival del Torito Guapo” (the handsome bull festival) celebrated this weekend by the Anton community in Cocle province. This folkloric festival is a stable celebration in Anton.
The handsome bull festival emerged as an initiative of Professor Armando Del Rosario de Leon in 1967,with the aim of was defending and preserving old folk songs, traditional dances, catchy drum tunes and similar local traditions.
The initiative turned into a national event in 2004, with a law that declared October 15 a civic day, of folkloric celebrations, with the Festival in the Anton district.
Today, the festival has positioned itself in the cultural life of the Cocle residents and brings back old traditions of local peasants.
Those footprints of times past. are remembered and performed in front of locals and out-of-towners alike, so new generations can remember and continue the ways of their ancestors.
The committee organizing the festival promises various activities for this year’s event, including presentations of folkloric groups from both Cocle and nearby towns and provinces, dance and music competitions, popular dances, bull fights, horse riding, the typical “reinados” where they name a queen, and children and youth competitions testing their instrument playing and singing skills.
The festival will include contests testing domestic skills such as peeling and grating coconuts, milking cows, splitting and carrying firewood.
You will also see bull fights, a parade full of allegories which highlights the ingenuity of the “handsome bull” figure, and the traditional Fiesta del Pueblo which ends the festival.
Among favorite festival scenes are the bull dolls made off a wooden skeleton wrapped with leather or cloth, which a man carries through the parade, making the bull dance to a cheerful tune while surrounded by women.
If you're planning on crossing the bridge this weekend, stop by and experience Panamanian folk traditions at their best.
Anton is near (19 km) Penonome, 130 km from Panama City.