Carnival In Aruba, A Party In Paradise Like No Other
Carnival In Aruba, Parades, Fun, Music, and Culture!
One of the most exciting times in Aruba is Carnival. The event spans over several weeks from November through February, with most of the big parades and celebrations occurring in January and February. The main events are held the first week of Lent and the Grand Parade is on Shrove Sunday, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
The energy on the island shifts from soothing to electrifying as streets become filled with colorful floats, titillating music, and participants in flashy, intricate costumes. The grand finale is the Burning of King Momo, a popular figure based on Momus of Greek Mythology who is known for his mischievous antics, criticism, and mockery.
His place in the festivities is fun, freedom, satire, and total exaggeration, which is the essence of the whole celebration. In some cultures, an actor plays him, but in Aruba, he is a giant puppet that is thrown in the bonfire at midnight to close the season. Once complete, the whole island goes on official rest.
Carnival is popular around the world, mainly has a Pre-Lenten event, and in Aruba, the island’s oldest private social club, The Tivoli Club, was the first to celebrate this period in the Christian calendar in 1944. The history of Carnival as it is now dates back to 1954 as a series of small street festivals, and in 1955, various districts came together for the first official Carnival as well as the first official election of the Carnival Queen. Today, King and Queen elections are integral to the celebration.
In 1957 the Grand Parades were put together, but it wasn’t until November 11, 1966, at 11:11 am that the event’s organizing body, the Stichting Arubaanse Carnaval, was founded. To this day, the season begins at the same exact time to celebrate.
In addition to parades, guests can attend pageants, music competitions, calypso music, and dancing. There are even parades geared toward children and the Jouvert Morning Pajama Party. Attendees may also catch a glimpse of the island’s steel bands, a music style introduced by Trinidadian immigrants that now contains elements of samba, rumba, and more.
If you attend Carnival, the Torching Lighting Parade in Oranjestad is a must-see. The lighting is similar to the Olympic Torch ceremony and the night-time parade offers a glittering extravaganza that ignites the inky dark skies. Even the costumes and floats are decorated with lights for a magical experience.
Attending Carnival is a special experience and if you are lucky enough to dance and sing with the partygoers, you will never forget the freedom and fun you felt.
Carnival in Aruba, is a cultural event everyone should experience. If you need help planning the perfect trip for Carnival, contact us, we can help!
image provided by Aruba.com