Top Five Caribbean Carnivals In February | 2BKaribbean Top 5 List

Caribbean Carnival season is a time for freedom of expression and for honoring cultural traditions. This is all done wrapped up in an explosion of creative costumes and tied with a bow of pure unadulterated joy. Carnival is one of the anchor cultural events in the Caribbean and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Of the fourteen (14) Carnivals happening in the Caribbean during the month of February, see below for those that made our Top 5 list. Thank you to everyone who voted!!


NAME: Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

COUNTRY: Trinidad and Tobago

DATE: Feb 24th-25th

DESCRIPTION:

  • Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is often dubbed ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’.
  • Carnival events start as early as January and amalgamates with a two-day street parade where there is an explosion of colorful costumes on the streets of Port Of Spain.
  • It is officially celebrated the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday every year.
  • Carnival Monday opens with J’Ouvert at 4am, when revellers parade through the streets immersed in paint, grease and mud until sunrise. Later in the day on Monday and all day on Carnival Tuesday, thousands of masqueraders flood the streets throughout the islands in bold, colourful costumes, dancing through the parade routes to the exhilarating sounds of soca, steelpan and calypso music.*

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE:

Dimanche Gras is one of the more recognized cultural displays during Carnival season. It happens the Sunday night before the festivities at the Queens Park Savannah. It includes a display of the King and Queen costumes for Carnival. It is also where an elite group of calypsonians are selected to battle for the title of Calypso Monarch.

Source: https://www.gotrinidadandtobago.com/trinidad-and-tobago/carnival-in-trinidad.html

Courtesy: Newsday TT (photographer Unknown)

NAME: Kanaval

COUNTRY: Haiti

DATE: Feb -25th

DESCRIPTION:

  • The Carnival of Haiti includes weeks of celebration that leads up to Shrove Tuesday.
  • The larger parties take place in Port-Au-PrinceThe Carnival has a different theme every year that is incorporated into costumes and dances.
  • During the festivities, many Haitians dress in traditional garments full of color or disguise themselves as characters from pop culture, such as the wandering Jew, the Chaloskas (depiction of the tyrannical policeman Charles Oscar Étienne), the Zel Matirins (dark angels), zombies or Loas (characters from voodoo).

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE:

The Rara, a unique form of Haitian music, usually takes place on the last day of Carnival, ending the celebration.

Courtesy Rap Kreyol

NAME: Mas Dominik

COUNTRY: Dominica

DATE: Feb 24th-25th

DESCRIPTION:

  • Carnival in Dominica, also known as Mas Dominik, is celebrated for being ‘Real Mas.’
  • This is primarily because of its focus on traditional costumes and community involvement.
  • The Carnival brings together African and French traditions. Carnival itself kicked off with J’ouvert on Monday morning, followed by a youth parade, calypso road march and costume parade, ending with Wednesday’s Téwé Vaval in the Kalinago territory, where a coffin, supposedly containing the spirit of the Carnival, is buried.  *

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE:

Besides its focus on preserving traditional costumes, there is also the Chante Mas and Lapo Kabrit which is Carnival music of Dominica.

Source: https://www.avirtualdominica.com/project/carnival-in-dominica/

Courtesy Caribbean Soca

NAME: Mashramani

COUNTRY: Guyana

DATE: Feb 23rd

DESCRIPTION:

  • Mashramani (also known as Mash), is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a Republic in 1970.
  • The name is derived from indigenous Amerindian culture and translates to ‘the celebration of a job well done.’
  • This is one of the festivals that engages all the ethnic groups in Guyana.
  • There are spectacular costume competitions, float parades, masquerade bands, and dancing in the streets to the accompaniment of steel band music and calypsos.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE:

Masquerades frequent the streets performing acrobatic dance routines, a vivid reminder of Guyana’s African heritage. Calypso and chutney music competitions are another integral part of Mashramani, and this culminates in the coronation of a King or Queen for the particular year.

Source: https://caribbean1st.com/event/mashramani/


NAME: Guadeloupe Carnival

COUNTRY: Guadeloupe

DATE: Feb 24th-26th

DESCRIPTION:

Guadeloupe Carnival has four important components i.e. Dimanche Gras, Lundi Gras , Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.

  • On “Dimanche Gras” is organized in the streets of Pointe-à-Pitre a big parade of more than fifty carnival groups from all over the island.
  • On “Lundi Gras”, two big night-parades are held in Basse-Terre and Saint-François.
  • On “Shrove Tuesday”, a gigantic parade takes place in the capital, Basse-Terre, with almost all the Guadeloupean carnival groups with their majestic decors and the participation of some invited groups. The king and the queen of carnival also take part in the celebration.
  • Ash Wednesday” is the last day of the festivities with the great “vidé” (mass parade) usually in black and white as a sign of mourning. The carnival lovers and the crowd of spectators celebrate Vaval’s funeral, the King of Carnival, represented by a puppet (or bwa bwa, en Creole) which is burned at the end of the ceremony. Then, everybody sings in Creole,“Vaval ka kité nou” (“Vaval leaves us”) and some of them pretend to cry.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE:

The burning of King Vaval on Ash Wednesday is one of the most unique things about Carnival in Guadeloupe. King Vaval is the symbolic figure that represents Carnival.

Courtesy Nicky Mariette

 

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MISSION: To elevate the brand of Caribbean culture in the fields of MUSIC, BUSINESS and the ARTS by celebrating the work of cultural ambassadors while advocating for upcoming Caribbean talent1.

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