Spring is now here, soon you will be heading to the Caribbean for your annual vacation. I guess you’re looking forward to enjoying the sun and drink piña colada by the beach or poolside of a beautiful resort. And at the end of the trip you will go on a tour, and buy a couple souvenirs.
If that sounds like your typical Caribbean vacation, you have not been getting your money’s worth of the Caribbean experience.
The Caribbean is where Indian, African, European and Asian cultures clash, resulting in an environment that is purely unique. The Caribbean experience comprises the physical environment, the people, art, food and definitely the music. And there’s no better way to have a taste of that experience than during a Caribbean festival.
Therefore, here’s a list of festivals that will further enrich your next experience in the Caribbean. Try to schedule your next vacation to coincide with a festival. Whether it’s one of the four events below or others, be sure that your next vacation experience in the Caribbean is as satisfying as it can be.
The St. Lucia Jazz/Art Festival started in 1992. The festival is an internationally known, talent-packed line-up of musicians that gives the event its distinctive vibe. Cuban music one night gives way to a brass-blowing Dominican zouk the next evening, followed by bass-thumping Jamaican reggae.
Other genres include calypso, soca, steel pan, American R&B, Caribbean zouk, European jazz. The event also brings together internationally known performers such as John Legend, Kassav, Mark Anthony and Shaggy.
The event usually takes place between late April and early May.
Haiti’s “Kanaval” is the country’s largest annual celebration. The festival is a collection of colorful parades, lively music, traditional art and dances throughout the island. The event is an electrifying expression of color and community. Celebrations are over several weeks, starting at the end of January, leading up to “Fat Tuesday” or Mardi Gras.
However, the main event, the “Defile”, is held in Port-au-Prince sometime in middle of February. Defile is a 3day long festival, packed with great activities, music and food. The Port-au-Prince’s annual carnival is one of the largest Mardi Gras carnivals in the Caribbean and North America.
Dubbed “The Greatest Reggae Show on Earth”, the Reggae Sumfest festival is one of the most anticipated staple on the Jamaican entertainment calendar. The festival attracts millions from around the world each year, from as far away as Australia, Europe, the USA and the African continent. People come to enjoy reggae music in the land of its birth. Other genres played include hip hop, pop, rhythm & blues, jazz, and dance hall.
The festival usually kicks off on a Sunday with a Beach party held at the Aquasol Theme Park. Then an “All White Party” held on Monday or Tuesday at Pier 1 On the Waterfront follow by three nights packed with electrifying live performances.
Originated in the late-18th century, Cropover is where older local cultural characters mix with modern additions. That gives the festival a character unlike any other in the Caribbean. Celebrations are not only vibrantly colorful and full of music, but also reveal all aspects of Barbadian culture. The event reveals a mixture of African surviving heritage and Western modern culture through exhibitions of art, craft, music, and dance.
Barbados’ Crop Over Festival activities and events are many and varied with plenty of things to do for everyone’s taste. For the event’s duration, which spans from June to the first Monday of August, one gets to enjoy great deal of different activities. Among them are calypso contests, soca concerts, heritage bus tours, arts exhibitions, carnival-like parades.