You’ve probably heard of the word Carnival before but what exactly is it and what does it mean for Aruba?
After the holidays in December, you’d think that we, locals, are done celebrating. However, we are always looking forward to the next celebration and for us, that starts in January. It is a season packed with activities as it’s our yearly tradition of Carnival!
Aruba’s Carnival Organizing body was founded in 1966, on November 11th at 11:11 PM. This is the exact moment when the carnival season begins. However, most of the activities and occurrences actually happen in January and February. It’s an occasion where culture is visible through entertainment, dancing, and most importantly MUSIC. Carnival is divided here into different colorful and vibrant parades throughout its timeframe. The first parade is always the Torch parade which is always on the first week of the new year.
Although elections are also held for the Carnival parades (choosing of kings and queens, princes and princesses, and finally, a joker) everyone is welcome to participate in Carnival whether you’re in one of the marching groups or whether you’re there to stand on the sidelines and watch it as a spectator while also delighting yourself in the energetic beat of the music. After all, it’s a month-long celebration for everyone.
Even if you’re shopping or doing daily things, you’ll probably hear road march and calypso music playing on the radio. The rich history of our Carnival goes way back to 1944 when the oldest social club of Aruba held a pre-Lenten celebration. Later, after the allied victory of WWII, many Caribbean-English immigrants in Aruba at the time wanted to celebrate life and threw a large parade in San Nicolas. Little by little, more bands debuted as they took notice of each other, and small groups formed to be what Carnival has become nowadays. Beautiful, colorful, shiny, and most of all, LIVELY.
*Photos are from Aruba.com