Carnival Fever, Soca, Calypso, J'ouvert, Mas, Costume, Fete, TnT

Your only destination to all things CARNIVAL

What is carnival?
It is an annual celebration of life found in many countries of the world. And in fact, by learning more about carnival we can learn more about ourselves and a lot about accepting and understanding other cultures.

Where did the word “carnival” come from?
Hundred and hundreds of years ago, the followers of the Catholic religion in Italy started the tradition of holding a wild costume festival right before the first day of Lent. Because Catholics are not supposed to eat meat during Lent, they called their festival, carnevale — which means “to put away the meat.” As time passed, carnivals in Italy became quite famous; and in fact the practice spread to France, Spain, and all the Catholic countries in Europe. Then as the French, Spanish, and Portuguese began to take control of the Americas and other parts of the world, they brought with them their tradition of celebrating carnival.

The dynamic economic and political history of the Caribbean are indeed the ingredients of festival arts as we find them today throughout the African and Caribbean Diaspora. Once Columbus had steered his boat through Caribbean waters, it was only a few hundred years before the slave trade was well established. By the early 19th century, some six million slaves had been brought to the Caribbean. Between 1836 and 1917, indentured workers from Europe, west and central Africa, southern China, and India were brought to the Caribbean as laborers.

African influences on carnival traditions
Important to Caribbean festival arts are the ancient African traditions of parading and moving in circles through villages in costumes and masks. Circling villages was believed to bring good fortune, to heal problems, and chill out angry relatives who had died and passed into the next world. Carnival traditions also borrow from the African tradition of putting together natural objects (bones, grasses, beads, shells, fabric) to create a piece of sculpture, a mask, or costume — with each object or combination of objects representing a certain idea or spiritual force.

Feathers were frequently used by Africans in their motherland on masks and headdresses as a symbol of our ability as humans to rise above problems, pains, heartbreaks, illness — to travel to another world to be reborn and to grow spiritually. Today, we see feathers used in many, many forms in creating carnival costumes.

African dance and music traditions transformed the early carnival celebrations in the Americas, as African drum rhythms, large puppets, stick fighters, and stilt dancers began to make their appearances in the carnival festivities.

In many parts of the world, where Catholic Europeans set up colonies and entered into the slave trade, carnival took root. Brazil, once a Portuguese colony, is famous for its carnival, as is Mardi Gras in Louisiana (where African-Americans mixed with French settlers and Native Americans). Carnival celebrations are now found throughout the Caribbean in Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, Dominica, Haiti, Cuba, St. Thomas, St. Marten; in Central and South America in Belize, Panama, Brazil; and in large cities in Canada and the U.S. where Caribbean people have settled, including Brooklyn, Miami, and Toronto. Even San Francisco has a carnival!


Anguilla Carnival Summer Festival
Antigua Carnival
Aruba Carnaval
Bahamas Junkanoo
Barbados Crop Over
BVI August Festival
Cayman Carnival
Cuba Carnival
Curacao Carnival
Dominica Carnival
Dominica Carnival
Grenada Carnival
Grenada Carnival
Guadeloupe Carnival
Guyana Mashramani
Guyana Mashramani
Haiti Kanaval
Jamaica Carnival
Jamaica Carnival Bacchanal
Martinique Carnaval
Martinique Carnival
Montserrat Festival
Nevis Culturama
Puerto Rico Carnaval de Ponce
Saba Carnival
St. Kitts Carnival
St. Lucia Carnival
St. Maarten Carnival
St. Maarten Carnival
St. Vincent & the Grenadines Vincy Mas
Trinidad & Tobago Carnival
Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Lime
Trinidad & Tobago Pan Trinbago
Virgin Islands Carnival
CA Long Beach Brazilian Street Carnaval
CA San Francisco Carnaval
CA San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival
DC Washington Carnival
FL Ft. Lauderdale Broward Carnival
FL Jacksonville Carnival
FL Miami Carnival
FL Orlando Carnival
FL Tallahassee Carnival
FL Tampa Bay Carnival
FL Tampa Carnival
GA Atlanta Caribbean Folk Festival
GA Atlanta Carnival
IL Chicago Carnival
LA Baton Rouge Mardi Gras
LA New Orleans Mardi Gras
LA New Orleans Mardi Gras
MA Boston Carnival
MA Cambridge Carnival
MD Baltimore Carnival
MD Baltimore Carnival
MN St. Paul Winter Carnival
NJ South Jersey Carnival
NY Brooklyn Labor Day Carnival
NY Long Island Carnival
NY Schenectady Carama Carnival
PA Philadelphia Carnival
SC Charleston CariFest
TX Austin Carnival
TX Houston CaribFest
VA Virginia CaribFest
VA Virginia Carnival
VT Stowe Winter Carnival

Argentina Gualeguaychu Carinval
Belize Carnival
Belize San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival
Bolivia Carnaval Info
Bolivia Carnaval
Brazil Rio Carnival
Brazil Rio Carnival
Brazil Rio Carnival
Brazil Salvador de Bahia Carnival
Colombia Barranquilla Carnaval
Colombia Barranquilla Carnaval
Dominican Republic Carnival
Mexico Karneval
Mexico Cozumel Carnaval
Mexico Cozumel Carnaval
Mexico Mazatlan Carnaval
Mexico VeraCruz Carnaval
Panama Carnival
Peru Carnival in Juliaca
Venezuela Carnaval



Belgium Aalst Carnival
Belgium Binche Carnaval
Belgium Carnaval of Blancs Moussis
Belgium Carnaval of Blancs Moussis
Buglaria Pernik Surva International Festival Masquerade
Denmark Aalborg Carnival
Denmark Carnival in Copenhagen
Finland Helsinki Samba Carnival
France Carnaval de Dunkerque
France Carnaval de Dunkerque
France Nice Carnaval
Germany Berlin Karneval
Germany Kolner Karneval
Greece Patras Carnival
Holland Maastricht Carnival
Holland Maastricht Carnival
Holland Zomer Carnaval
Italy Carneval di Foiano
Italy Carneval di Servola
Italy Carneval di Vercelli
Italy Carnevale a Verona
Italy Malta Carnival
Italy Malta Cicco Carnival
Italy Nadur Carnival
Italy Venice Carnival
Italy Venice Carnival
Portugal Carneval de Estarreja
Portugal Carneval de Ovar
Portugal Carnival de Loule
Spain Carnaval de Aguilas
Spain Carnaval de Cartagena
Spain Carnaval de Ceuta
Spain Carnaval de Chipiona
Spain Carnaval de Malaga
Spain Carnaval de Sitges
Spain Carneval de Cadiz
Spain Carneval de Cadiz
Spain Carnival Tarragona
Switzerland Carnaval de Lausanne du
Switzerland Carnaval du Jura
UK Devizes Carnival
UK Hastings Carnival
UK Herne Bay Carnival
UK Liverpool International Street Festival
UK Luton Carnival
UK Notting Carnival
UK Notting Hill Carnival
UK Notting Hill Carnival



Calgary Carifest
Caribou Carnival
Edmonton Cariwest Festival
Ottawa Caribe-Expo
Quebec Winter Carnival
Toronto Caribana
Vernon Winter Carnival



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