The Incredible Curacao Carnival

At the start of the year, Curacao plays host to a very special event, the annual Carnival. This carnival is one of the longest-lasting Carnival spectacles in the whole Caribbean, and is one of the best times to look for a holiday rental in Curacao.

The founding of the Carnival dates back many years, and began as a Catholic rite to represent the Christian practice of ‘Carne Levale’, which means that people would give up meat for the period of Lent. To celebrate the occasion, a series of parties would take place. However, it was not until 1969 that it began to gain in popularity as an island wide event.

The first day of the event is known as Jump In/Jump Up. Various dance troupes and groups assemble, and over the following few weeks will organise jump ups and jump ins to raise money for them to participate in The Grand Parade, also known as the Gran Marcha.

This incredible spectacle takes place in either February or March, and are a culmination of costumes, floats, characters and the winners of beauty contents, who take on the role as ‘Carnival Royalty’. The Gran Marcha takes place on Sunday, and the Marcha di Despedida, the Farewell March, is always on a Tuesday evening. This final parade usually takes place in the dark, and the streets come alive with sparkling lights and fires.

If you manage to get a Caribbean vacation home at the time of the Carnival, be sure to take a camera! The route always starts at Santa Maria, and winds its way through Otrobanda, so you should try and get there early to get the very best viewing spot.

While there, don’t forget to check out the Tumba Festival, which is a four-day musical extravaganza, where local musicians compete to have their music selected as the year’s official Carnival Tumba song. Usually it is quite a party, filled with laughter, drinking and music, and th elikelyhood is, you won’t be returning to your villa in Curacao until the early hours!


Dominican Republic festival guide

A holiday in the Dominican Republic wouldn’t be the same without witnessing at least one of the many annual festivals and celebrations. The ‘Fuestas Patronales’ range from crazy street parties complete with costumes and dancing to complex religious ceremonies.

The festivals are a great way to experience the cultural influences that help make the country so unique. The seemingly never-ending celebrations will certainly keep you busy. After a crazy day, a villa with private pool in the Dominican Republic will be exactly what you are looking for.

Here are some of the best festivals that the country has to offer.

Carnaval de Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo Carnival

If you have a vacation rental in the Dominican Republic in the Santo Domingo area, you shouldn’t miss the annual carnival celebrating, which, takes place in February. It is the biggest annual celebration in the whole country, with a street party taking place every Sunday of the month. The festivities culminate in a huge 24-hour party along the sea front, complete with processions, music, floats, and more!

Cabarete Sand Castle Festival

Also taking place in February, Cabarete is transformed into a giant sand sculpture park for 10 days! The work is of amazing quality with sculptures of all shapes and sizes and of varying themes.

Cabarete Sand Castle Festival

Semana Santa

You will have to be in your Dominican Republic villa in April to experience this Catholic Easter celebration. Fused with Afro-Dominican Vodu celebrations, these two festivals make April a very interesting time to travel to the country. The inhabitants of the town of Cabral dress as devils and ‘mock’ those that are passing by. Although this may not be the best idea of a festival to some, it is a great example of the fusion of two different cultures in the Dominican Republic.

Festival de Merengue

This festival takes place in Malecon in July and August, and is a music lover’s dream. The music is pumping all night and when you get tired, there are many food and drink tents where you can enjoy some delicious Dominican fare.

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