This spring it is again time for the biggest folk festival on the island, Carnival! With the most beautiful floats, colorful theme costumes and the traditional tumba, it is a unique folk festival. This party attracts thousands of visitors every year. So you have to experience this!
The party is ushered in by the competitions of the Prince, the Pancho and the Queen in the 3 age categories. You have the category children, teenagers and adults. The Prince and the Pancho are always a duo and are delegated by their carnival groups or schools to convey their message about carnival. The rules are very strict, because the Prince and the Pancho are the key bearers of the city and they open the official carnival!
Queen of the Carnival!
You also have the Queen, which is all about charisma, quality and talent. The final carnival costume even goes to the summer carnival in Rotterdam. Moreover, the costume goes with the title "International Queen of Carnival".
When the carnival has officially started, there are all different parades! For example, you have the children's carnival, the teenage parade, the Bandabou carnival, the Gran Marcha, the children's goodbye carnival parade and the big goodbye carnival parade. The traditional tumba is played during these parades! This is a style of music that is closely related to the history of the Netherlands Antilles. This is because they were brought by African slaves.
Parades at Carnival on Curaçao
Of all parades, the Gran Marcha is the largest, namely 6.5 kilometers long! In the Gran Marcha, an average of 30 different groups of both national and international origin walk along. All these groups have different themes, which in combination with the traditional tumba creates a super beautiful parade with a beautiful color and music spectacle!
To view all the parades, the locals spent weeks building grandstands and placing benches and chairs. They are often home-made stands and carts from which they view the parades. Hopefully they are built a little sturdy and safe
Carnival farewell parade in Curaçao
Finally there is the farewell procession, the Marcha di Despedida! This parade takes place on the last evening and is super fun, because all groups have decorated their cars with lights. All this to make the carnival party shine once more. When the clock has also hit twelve o'clock, a doll named Rei Momo is burned. This is an important practice, because the way the Rei Momo finally falls apart carries a spiritual message.