New Year’s Eve starts around noon on December 31. Large crowds gather on business parking lots to hug and give each other 3 bon anja kisses on the cheek, dance, laugh, hear (and smell!) the Pagara, a long red ribbon of firecrackers that blankets Curaçao’s street on December 31 and January 1.
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PAGARAS:
1. Café De Tropen started the first public Pagara street party in 1992 (Pietermaai – De Tijd, Larry’s Restaurant, Juliana Plein also tend to offer public pagara parties during the day on December 31)
2. Size matters. People WILL judge. The longer the Pagara ribbon + party, the bigger the business.
3. Pagaras are only allowed between Dec 27 – Jan 2 and give ‘burning money’ a whole new meaning (they also make the very best tax write-offs!)
4. The louder the Pagara roar, the more prosperous the new year.
5. The smokier the Pagara, the more effective at fending off fuku (evil spirits)
6. Pagara flake clean-up is a ginormous pain in the butt. Pagara flakes once got stuck to the soles of my shoes for 2 years!
7. Plagatox (insect repellant) is the most effective Pagara lighter.
8. Brass bands make *great* Pagara companions.
9. Pagara lighting is (still) extremely male-dominated (Let’s keep it that way!)
10. Overly ambitious Pagaras tend to be dangerous… So: ENJOY but please BE SAFE!!!