Can’t get enough of Carnival? Still dreaming of wild costumes and colorful celebrations? Pining for masquerades and music? Just itching for an excuse to leave home to travel? Look no further than the Caribbean, where you can get your Carnival fix only a few months after you’ve accumulated your beads in NOLA.
Saint Lucia: This year’s Carnival in St. Lucia launches on June 15, 2014 and what a party it will be! The soiree this Windward Island throws gets the groove going with an unveiling of the groups competing as Carnival Bands. As the week goes on, there are tons of opportunities for dance, pageantry, listening to some of the best steel drumming of your life, and witnessing the crowning of the festival monarchs. Or have a cold one while getting down to soca rhythms at this year’s Cooler Fete, the only party we’ve ever heard of where the name of the game is dressing up your beverage containers the wackiest way possible (we hear cows might be involved?)
Antigua: From late July to the first Tuesday in August, this eastern Caribbean island holds its Carnival celebration in its capital, St. John’s. Originally to commemorate emancipation from slavery, the ten-day festival has evolved to feature a stellar lineup of pageants, parades for adults and children and more. The most important part of the bash is J’Ouvert, a pre-dawn soca/calypso jam fest common throughout Carnival celebrations of the Caribbean. During J’Ouvert, the “King of the Road” is chosen. A nice perk? The final Monday and Tuesday of Carnival are official holidays so islanders can take off work to enjoy the fete.
In the Western Caribbean and Central America :
Belize: Back in 1975, five women were trying to think of how to improve Belize’s annual National Day celebrations, which fall on September 10th. This group, the Belize Women for Cultural Preservation, convinced their children to help them spread the idea and that year they paraded, costumed, through the street. From there, others followed suit and September 10 has turned into a full-fledged Carnival party that includes floats, music, costumes, dancing and more. Plus, you can take part in not one but three towns’ Carnival traditions in Belize! Belize City, Orange Walk and Corozal all celebrate in their own, unique ways.
What are you waiting for? Get your groove on to those famous calypso rhythms during any one of these three summertime festivals!
Have you ever been to Carnival in the Caribbean? What was it like? Share in the comments!