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!