Your only destination to all things CARNIVAL
While carnivalists in Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba and other parts of the Caribbean are nursing hangovers, Martinique will be in full swing as they will be beginning the final and most exciting day of their celebrations as the Carnival runs an extra 24 hours.
As if this was not enough about three weeks into Lent, the island comes up with a dawn-to-dusk reprise of Carnival in miniature, an official holiday known as Mi-Carême (mid-Lent), where the fasting is suspended for 24 hours and the revelry starts all over again.
Of course, the festivities actually start early in January, with parties every weekend and many other activities in the run up to carnival.
A dominant theme of Carnival involves the pursuit of sexual freedom, including men dressed in women’s clothing. According to legend, the king of Carnival is murdered on Ash Wednesday. Allegedly, men are so distraught from this terrible news that they go to confession and put away their collection of lingerie until Carnival begins again next year.
To the uninitiated, this story line seems somewhat at odds with family values. One must understand, however, that the French have few innate sexual inhibitions. This fact is readily confirmed during an outing at most any beach here in Martinique. It is not at all unusual during Carnival to see young families hand-in-hand at the parades, the father dressed in high heels, silk stockings and a bra. Vive la difference!