If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of in the Caribbean, it’s festivals and carnivals. This region of the world provides the perfect setting for music and dance events; some of these festivals are absolutely immense, a one-of-a-kind experience, and you’ll be glad you made the trip for that particular festival alone. And you’ll be able to enjoy some glorious Caribbean weather in a gorgeous location.
A Festival for Reggae Lovers (and Non-Reggae Lovers Alike)
Jamaica is the birthplace of the legendary reggae musician Bob Marley and this type of music is synonymous with the island, so it makes sense to hold the annual Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay each July. This festival draws in thousands of visitors over the course of one week and features beach parties, jam sessions and international music evenings with the cream of reggae musicians and DJs playing traditional and modern tunes.
If you’re visiting the island of Barbados in July, you’re in luck: this is when the five week Crop Over festival takes place. These celebrations date back to the 18thcentury to mark the end of the sugarcane harvesting, but the modern festival has been ongoing since the 1970s. Attendees can expect calypso dances, art exhibitions, carnival parades and lots of local markets; the entire island will be taking part in this lively, much-loved celebration.
If you’re a lover of those Pirates of the Caribbean movies (and who isn’t) then the Cayman Islands during mid-November will be the place to be. Pirates Week is just as fun an event for adults as for kids, kicking off with a fireworks display as well as the Street Dance and Food Festival. Thousands of people attend to watch two old time sailing ships, packed with pirates, dock at the George Town harbor to kidnap the governor. This event takes place over 11 days and is one of the most family friendly festivals on the islands.
The Big Carnival
Aruba is known as the “happy island,” so it maybe makes sense that they hold one of the biggest carnivals of the year, lasting for at least a month. Street parties feature a variety of carnival groups, some with hundreds of all-singing, all-dancing participants and the evening Lighting Parade is one of the highlights. A variety of Grand Carnival parades take place across the island’s cities and the Oranjestad version gives the Rio de Janeiro carnival a serious run for its money. Now in its 61styear, the festivities begin in January and run through to February.
These are just four of the many festivals that take place throughout the Caribbean each year. If you’re planning to visit then prepare to battle the crowds and dance till you drop but there’s no doubt that any of these festivals will be one of those unforgettable traveling experiences.