Caribbean Sailing: Celebration of Carnival

It happens every time during your Caribbean sailing charter. You relax on board the ship in a quiet and perfect berth – pure turquoise water that gently soothes the body – when suddenly, warm tropical breezes seduce you on the beach like a siren song with a party sound! Each year, the Caribbean hosts hundreds of different parties ranging from religious festivals, music festivals, fishing tournaments, sports and even sailing races. No matter where you go, a party in paradise can always be part of your vacation in the Caribbean. The greatest party, however, is the annual carnival celebration. Basically a street party, it's a fun mix of party, theater, art and folklore traditions. For each island, the annual carnival is a big business, and preparations for the next island start around the day after the last flight ends.

The history of carnival celebrations started hundreds of years ago in Italy, where Catholics held wild fashion festivals just before fasting. Since they were not supposed to eat meat during Lent, the festival got the name "Carnevale," which means "get rid of meat." The famous carnival celebrations eventually spread to other Catholic countries, including France, Spain and Portugal. When European Catholics established colonies and entered the slave trade, a carnival took root in the New World as well.

Today, carnival celebrations are found all over the islands. However, it has been transformed from original Italian fashion festivals into something special in the Caribbean that differs from the island

To the island. The Caribbean Carnival is a mixture of many European cultures, African dance and music. It is important to celebrate the Caribbean carnival, the African tradition of displaying fashion and masks and moving in circles across villages in order to bring good luck, healing problems and calming angry lives. Carnival is an important way for the Caribbean people to express their rich African cultural traditions by creating complex masks and costumes. It takes months, a lot of energy and creativity to come up with a concept and develop fashion for dancers to depict a common theme.

When the carnival first started, it was celebrated from December 26 to Shroff Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). This traditional time is still used, and Trinidad has the largest carnival, with daily events for four weeks until tuesday Tuesday. The last two days are a frenzied culmination of all rallies and the largest buoys and final competitions to determine the winners of the various competitions.

Other islands hold their carnivals at different times so they don't clash and allow people to enjoy many festivities during the year. If you are planning a vacation in the Caribbean, check with the island's tourism office for an event calendar. It is fun to plan a charter about a carnival. Although each island may hold a carnival during different times of the year, there are some common elements of celebration. Many islands will use the carnival as an ideal occasion to commemorate other events in the island's past. It will include all the fashion (diamonds) worn by many people. Colorful buoys and street parades (pan) are accompanied by lots of music (especially Calypso) and bands, and there is usually an elected king and king.

Here is an overview of carnival celebrations across the islands:

British Virgin Islands

The biggest event in the British Virgin Islands, this carnival goes through two names. Some locals refer to the "August Festival", while others call it the "Liberation Festival". It starts from July 1 and ends on August 31. This annual celebration coincides with the 1834 editorial law that abolished slavery in the British West Indies. All islands celebrate events taking place across the region, although most celebrations are held in Road Town, Tortola. Visitors can enjoy live music, dance and street performers, parties, parades and food and drink kiosks that feature a distinctive Caribbean flavor. The fiercely contested competition of Calypso leads to the coronation of the Calypso king. There is also a contest for the Queen Festival. Events not to be missed include food stalls set up near the waterfront in Road Town; children's competitions; calypso and reggae and fashion competitions teams on huge sound trucks roaming the waterfront accompanied by crowds of dancers; steel bands on buoys; all night parties and major parades of costumes.

Saint Martin / Saint Martin

This island is unique because it has a French and Dutch side – they are very different from each other. The way to celebrate carnival is also distinguished by depending on which side of the island you are on. Since Saint Martin is considered to be part of Guadeloupe, see below. The carnival in the Dutch film Sint Maarten begins the jumping balloon after Easter and runs until April 30, Queen Beatrix's birthday in the Netherlands. Balloon Jump-Up celebrates the opening of Carnival Village, an area 2 blocks from Front Street with over 100 food stalls. Jump-Up parades are a highlight of a carnival with bright-colored dancers, buoys, and live bands. The largest parade is Grand Carnival Parade, which features elegant carnival dancers along a four-mile route. Between the rallies, spectators enjoy steel cylinder bands from other Caribbean islands. Competitions (especially Calypso competitions) are an integral part of celebrations. The Calypso competitions are a traditional artistic model of the Caribbean, testing the improvisation and narrative skills of a solo artist. The winner climbs up against Calypso King or the Queen in the previous battle for the new title. The day after the coronation of the new King of Calypso, the jumping procession starts up called Jouvert (announces Jou-vey) at 4 am and continues until sunrise. The grand end of Carnival is Last Lap Jump-Up, which is led by King Momo, the straw figure who dominates the carnival. Burning Momo indicates the end of the carnival. The local folklore is that he takes the village sins with him, thus leaving the island pure.

St. Bartles

St. Bartles is one of three countries in the world where the carnival really ends at the end of wednesday ash. Officially begins on the Saturday before the Wednesday ashes, but it starts informally on the day after New Year's Day. During this informal time, carnival associations begin rehearsals on the street and people spend their time making beautiful floats for parades. The official start of the Saturday laps (Samedi Gras) is an all-night dance party. The king of Carnival is King Faval – a supermodel. He appeared with revelers and floats in Fat Sunday (Dimanche Gras) when people enjoyed jumping during the day and all night parties. There are parties every night during the official celebration of the carnival. On Fat Monday (Lundi Gras), everyone wears red for Red Devils Day. Costumes are fine artworks decorated with luster and reflective silver. Finally, Wednesday is a day when everyone wears black and white to attend the funeral of King Favell. Celebrations continue until 7 pm. When King Favell's straw figure is burned, marking the end of the carnival.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

The carnival in St. Kitts and Nevis officially starts on Christmas Eve and ends on New Year's Day. An informal start takes place months ago with the apparel and floating builder. The carnival season consists of many different activities, such as the beauty pageant, street jammers, calypso shows and competitions, mosques, moco games, and other traditional folklore arts.


Antigua Carnival dates back to August 1, 1834, when slavery was abolished and locals took to the streets to express their joy at freedom. The celebration lasted until 1957, when the carnival was officially announced. The Antigua Carnival is always held from the last week of July until the first week of August. The ten days of celebrations include marches, parades, jumps, performances and dances to the rhythm of Calypso. Antigua Carnival is a wonderful time for windsurfers in the Caribbean to immerse them in the culture of this island. During a carnival, St. John filled with street performers and food and drink stalls. Pan Pan – Steel Skill Orchestra – Followed by dance troupes wearing intricate costumes. The lively event culminates in a huge road party called Jouvert, which means "daily vacation", where everyone sits on their feet dancing to the rhythm of steel drums.


Carnival is celebrated in Montserrat between Christmas and New Year's Day. The festival includes steel teams, jumping competitions, king and queen competitions, and parades. One of the highlights of Carnival is the Calypso Competition Finals where performers wear and practice Calypso. Calypso is usually a social comment about things happening on the island as well as the feelings of the current government. Usually there is a double participant and songs tend to be calm. The winner of the competition will be awarded prizes and celebrity status on the island, and they will represent Montserrat in inter-island competitions. Besides the Calypso competition, the Carnival also includes steel strips, sporting events, barbecues and dance competitions.


The Guadeloupe carnival also ends on Wednesday Ash. The training starts in January, as the groups masquerade as dancing and singing in the streets. Carnival reaches high temperature between Shrove Sunday and Ash Wednesday. Shrove Sunday starts with parades, dancing, costumes, masquerades and street parties. On Tuesday in Shrove, pajamas dressed in all-day clothes. Ash Wednesday, Guadeloupe's unique celebration of carnival is illustrated while celebrities dressed in black and white, he and wolves take to the streets. That evening, as people danced and dined, a carnival came to an end with the burning of King Vaval. Halfway between Carnival and Easter, a one-day carnival is revived on Thursday fast, as celebrants, who portray themselves as demons, celebrate red and black outfits.


Mas Domnik takes place sometime before traditional fasting. During the celebration of ten days, there are a lot of activities taking place around the island. It is a feast of Calypso shows and jumping streets. The opening procession kicks off a carnival. Contestants compete in the Queen contest, and calcipions, the most popular teams, people dressed in sensual costumes, the Mumbai Mobies, the big fans, and a lot of people on the streets in a scene of colors encouraged by a large crowd of spectators. Throughout the carnival, there are calypso competitions, fashion competitions, street educators, sensual festivals, and beauty competitions. In the last two days of the carnival, music, culture and people merge to celebrate costumes, bands and marches. The last event takes place on Wednesday Ash with the burning of Carnival King and the beginning of Lent.


Starting in May and continuing through the summer with many events, Crop Over is the largest festival in Barbados and the loudest and most popular. It dates back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when Barbados was one of the largest sugar producers in the world, the end of the sugar cane season was celebrated with big parties. Today, the celebration continues with more mystery and excitement. The event officially begins in early July with a ceremonial delivery of the last sugar cane harvest and the coronation of the King and Queen Carnival. The next five weeks are characterized by a mixture of live music (including tok, calypso, soka, street bands), dance, food and crafts markets, cultural shows and much more. Pic-O-De-Crop is part of the carnival festivities and is part of a fierce competition to pick the best calypso band. The best bands compete against each other in an attempt to win the honor of assuming the title Calypso Kings. This is a great community event. The carnival is crowned with a parade called "Grand Kadooment". Street bands set out to take part in the final "Designer of the Year" competition. The celebrities, dressed in elaborate costumes, portray various themes on the streets, and dance while DJs play the most popular music.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Vinci Mas, as it has been known for carnival since 1977, was first celebrated as a pre-fasting celebration by French colonists in the late eighteenth century. The carnival celebration continued as a celebration of the privileged class under Great Britain, which celebrated the four days prior to Ash Wednesday as the "masked balls" annual. With the advent of freedom, former slaves took a carnival to the streets to introduce African cultural traditions. In 1872, colonial authorities attempted to ban the celebration. On February 11, 1879, Vincentian decided that the carnival would be celebrated, banned or banned. People resisted the empire's armed forces, which led to street riots, and the St. Vincent carnival riots became part of the island's history. The People's Festival continued to grow until 1973, when the Carnival Development Committee took charge of putting resources into planning and organizing the carnival. In 1976, the CDC decided to change the dates of the official celebration of the carnival, the rest of which is history. As of the end of June, Vincy Mas is today a ten-day festival for Pan, Calypso and Mas, as society becomes layered and non-racial. The streets of Kingstown became a hive of activity with excitement around the clock. Vinci Maas is filled with fun and joy. The streets are filled with constant beats of DJ music emerging from temporary bars. Various competitions, including bands, and performances of Miss (Miss) and Calypso are all part of the celebration. If you are on a glider in the Caribbean, you will be overwhelmed by the riots of color, musical struggle, and the impressive talent and block blocking the island during Vinci Mas.


Carnival is one of the biggest annual festivals in Grenada. Celebrations are famous for colors, creativity and unique cultural personality, and carnival celebrations are organized during the second week of August, just one week after the celebrations of the Liberation Day. Although each parish has its own brand or traditional costumes, the main carnival activity is located on the streets of St. George. Celebrations start in July with the opening of various Calypso tents, as singers compete for an opportunity to compete in the Calypso Monarch National Contest. In early August, the carnival celebration is gaining momentum. Every night of the week there are cultural and calypso shows, while steel strips are trained for the upcoming Panorama contest. Carnival Week continues with National Carnival Queen show, Soca Monarch Finals and Panorama Steel Band contest. The Sunday Carnival brings the Demanash Gras show – which includes the kings and queens of MAS fancy teams in a competition for the Carnival king and queen. From dawn on Monday at Carnival, the streets of Grenada cities are filled with traditional disguises depicting gubbs (demons) and social comments of the highlights of last year (first diamonds). Onlookers and fans alike on the streets dance to the steel bands and popular music played by DJs. On Monday afternoon, gorgeous or beautiful gangs appear on the streets making their way to the Grand Theater to participate in the Band of the Year contest. The street celebration continues in the late evening as Monday night evening gangs flow into the streets dancing and waving brightly-colored fluorescent lights and lasts until the early hours of Tuesday morning. On Tuesday's Carnival, spectators and fans dance again in the streets with great bands. The party lasts until midnight, when the official carnival celebration ends.

Although the dates of musical competitions, jumping, food stalls, beauty competitions, fashion marches and other activities that make up the celebrations vary from island to island, carnival celebrations are held annually across the Caribbean. Although each island may have its own development in this event, it is an opportunity for the people of the Caribbean to express themselves technically and socially. Carnival is a celebration of the joy of life! No matter what your social status or skin color, everyone, including onlookers, is part of the celebration. No matter where you go, you don't need a professional festival to spend quality time on the islands, but celebrating the carnival can be a fun part of your sailing vacation in the Caribbean.

Remember, "Dis's party can't be done" until morning comes. "