Carnival is the party on Curacao and therefore lasts longer than other parties! Every year the inhabitants of Curacao put on a homemade outfit to brighten up the streets of Curacao during the parades. The festival takes place before the Lent leading up to Easter and lasts for two months culminating in the last week. The start date of Carnival differs every year, but it almost always falls in the month of February.
There are many and different types of processions during carnival, which all take place in usually February. There is always a fixed order of the parades:
- The Horse Parade: you can see decorated horses and riders pass by. This is a special spectacle to see.
- The Children's Parade: this parade is of course especially for the children where they dance through the streets in creative and colorful costumes.
- The Teenage Parade: this parade is slightly smaller, but no less fun. The teenagers have designed the suits themselves and dance and sing during the parade.
- Banda Abou Parade: at Carnival in Curaçao you have a fixed route that is walked, but during the Banda About Parade a different route is taken. Namely towards the west of Curaçao.
- The Gran Marcha: this parade is always on a Sunday and this parade is overwhelming. Loud music, beautiful costumes, happy people and drinks galore.
- The Great Farewell Parade: this is actually the procession that every participant lives towards. It only starts in the evening and they walk the same route as during the Gran Marcha. Because it is dark outside, the light shows come out and the costumes sparkle everywhere. It is certainly worthwhile to experience this parade!
Tumba music during carnival on Curaçao
Tumba is the official music of the Carnival in Curaçao. It is a mix of Latin music with some Caribbean instruments. It is characterized by the cheerful sounds and it is almost impossible to dwell on this. At the start of the carnival season, a 4-day music festival is organized to choose the Tumba King or Queen. His or her song becomes the "national anthem" of that year's carnival. You will hear this song very often during the parades!