807. Curaçao New Year’s Pagaras

Pagara RibbonNew 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.


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!!!

About 1000awesomethingsaboutcuracao

I'm Carolina Gomes-Casseres, the creator of 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao. I live in Manhattan but sometimes miss my first awesome island. Thanks for visiting!


  1. Pingback: 806. New Year’s Klapchi (Fireworks) « 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao

  2. Mchele

    According to people on the clip, this pagara explosion happened in 1998 not 1988…

  3. We’ll have to message Alex Alberto!

  4. Pingback: 665. You’ve lived in Curaçao when… (Part 3) | 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao

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