Want to experience Carnival? This is possible at all five regional destinations of Surinam Airways! From January there are pre-parties and competitions that involve the largest folk festival of the region. Everyone is happy and you can tell by the happy faces. An experience not to be forgotten!
Port of Spain
Highly recommended is the destination Trinidad and Tobago, which is among the top 10 Best Carnival Festivals in the World. The passing costumes are astonishingly creative, while sound trucks blow spicy soca music through the streets of Port of Spain. “Fat Tuesday” falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The other big day is a day before and is called J’ouvert. You’ll have to get up early for this day. From 4 o’clock in the morning until dawn, a group of partygoers, who traditionally immerse themselves in paint, grease and mud, move through the streets. For more info go to the website.
The carnival revelers in Curaçao let themselves go also. In addition to all the theme groups, there are also the parade for children and teenagers on separate days. A procession outside Willemstad goes through Banda Abou. Carnival Curaçao can be experienced in different ways: free from the side or against payment from the stands enjoying all the spectacular colors and tumba music. The third option is to participate in the parade yourself! The price includes food, drinks and costume of the group. The big days are “Gran Marcha” and “Marcha di Despedida”, respectively on the Sunday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Want to know more? View the atmospheric images on this website! Or read this news item.
If we stay in the Dutch Caribbean, it is Aruba where a street full of feathers and hips are dancing to carnival music. Here too there is a list of pre-parties and competitions up to the date of the biggest party of the year. For the 66th time, parties are held from morning to evening with colorful parades and party lights. The season is closed with the burning of Momo, the spirit of carnival, at midnight. For the full schedule go to the website.
Belém do Para
Much smaller than Rio’s but still interesting enough. Carnival in Belém is characterized by the hot street parties in Cida de Velha, the historic center of Belém. Every weekend there is a party and from February 22nd-26th there is a party every day. In the carnival stadium, the jury decides which samba school wins the prize this year. Music, food stands and security make the street festivals complete. The entire schedule can be seen here.
In Guyana, which only started in 2018, carnival is celebrated from May 20th-27th. Why? The Independence Day falls on 26th of May and that must be celebrated in an exuberant way for the promotion of tourism. Hence the name “Guyana Independence Carnival”. The splashing Mash street parade has been taken over from Mashramani, a major cultural festival that is celebrated annually on February 23rd. Via this website you can read everything about these two parties in our neighboring country.
Text: Charles Chang, January 2020
Translation: Peggyta Bruinhart