Tips for getting ready for Carnival season

Carnival Caribbean

carnival outfit ©sfmissioncom/Flickr

Another Carnival season is about to end now and samba dancers, calypso bands and anyone with a passion for celebration, color and exuberant outfits will have a whole year to prepare for the next Carnival. Carnival is a very popular tradition in the Caribbean: and what makes Caribbean carnivals really special is that not only they are very diverse, reflecting the customs and local traditions of each Caribbean island, but they also take place at different time of the year. So unlike in the rest of the world, where most Carnivals take place around Mardi Gras and last for several days, the Caribbean carnival season lasts for several months. If you want the next Carnival to find you prepared and ready to dance till your feet fall off, then these tips for getting ready for Carnival season might be of some use:

Carnival Event Calendar

With so many different carnivals in the Caribbean, there is always the risk of mixing them up. So make sure you know the exact dates and location of each Carnival. Here you will find a list of the most popular Carnivals in the Caribbean, but you should know that there are many more. January, February, April and December are the months when at least one Carnival takes place in the Caribbean. Also – and this is very important – the actual dates of the Carnival might change, so make sure you know the exact day and month before you start planning your trip.

Caribbean carnival

carnival dancers ©IntangibleArts/Flickr

 

Best time to book

This is always a controversial topic and opinions are very divided when it comes to advance versus last-minute booking. I’d say you should go with your instinct, but not before you consider these few quick facts. One thing to keep in mind is that some Caribbean carnival are more high profile than others, so while people will travel to Trinidad and Tobago for the carnival, they might not do so for a smaller carnival, such a the one in St Kitts. Also, you probably know already that the peak season in the Caribbean is December to May so accommodation is more expensive and harder to find in this period.

Cariibbean Carnival

carnival squid ©sfmission.com/Flickr

Getting involved

Carnivals are much more fun when you actually attend them. So will you need dance lessons? Well, not necessarily: a few hours are usually enough for you to get into the rhythm. Carnivals like the one in Trinidad and Tobago can be very user-friendly, offering foreigners the possibility to join a parade band for a decent price.

Carnival Caribbean

carnival outfit ©sfmission.com/Flickr

 

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