There are parties. Then there are carnivals. Then, there are Caribbean Carnivals. The greatest show of costumes, masquerades, music and dance; Caribbean Carnivals are a myriad of shifting colours. These carnivals are a brilliant presentation of the vibrant and artistic cultural aspects of these islands. Unlike the rest of the world where carnivals are held only in February, the people of Caribbean host carnivals almost any time of the year. From the traditional Lent carnivals of Trinidad and Tobago to a winter carnival in St. Kitts and Nevis, these people cannot just party enough.
• Trinidad & Tobago (February) is the ultimate carnival destinations. Celebrations are planned almost eight months in advance, every year more extravagant and exotic than the previous.
• St. Barths (February) celebrates their carnival in the French style. Expect to see a lot of costumed dancers prancing on the streets.
• Barbados (August) hosts the second largest carnival in the Caribbean, a celebration which goes on for the entire summer.
• Bahamas (December) hosts their Jukanoo parades in winters. Don’t forget to see some of the most intricate costumes and spectacular shows which are held in the city of Nassau.
• Haitian Kanaval takes place just before Mardi Gras and can be rightfully named a kaleidoscope with the breathtaking colours on display.
• Martinique hosts the traditional pre-Lent carnival with a twist! They celebrate a day beyond the usual Lent carnivals.
• Dominica’s carnival, Real Mas, focuses mainly on tradition. Their traditional costumes and calypso music is a must see. Don’t forget to try their local beer.
• Aruba (February) celebrates a month long carnival characterized by grand parades, elaborate costumes, luxurious floats and several competitions.
• St. Vincent’s Vincy Mas is a weeklong mid-summer fete full of music, dance and several competitions.
• St. Grenadines offers a unique Shakespeare Mas with people dressed up as actors recite Shakespearean verses to test themselves.
Witnessing a carnival is definitely an experience for the lifetime, so plan your next international holidays such that you can be a part of this experience.
“Don’t stop the carnival.” is undoubtedly the perfect motto for these party loving people. Cruising to the Caribbean, anyone?