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A look at the popular traditional festivity of the dominican republic the carnival

Each town offers their own twist to the event.

  1. They would use body decorations, tattoos, paint, jewelry, and masks during these festivals.
  2. There are two basic mask types in Santiago which originated in two different neighborhoods.
  3. Carnival is also very family orientated, having both young and old join in the festivities. Costume design and character presentations come together for the judging of the best groups in Carnival.
  4. Diablo Cojuelo Limping Devil. These groups are well organized and many have participated together for many years.
  5. A celebration with euphoric and deafening sounds that help the people forget repression and bad times. Its horns are smooth and generally longer.

The celebration climaxes on or near the 27th of February, Dominican Independence Day. Carnival Dominicano an experience that everyone should have sometime in his or her life.

  • The traditional costumes are carefully sewn months in advance and are very elaborate and colorful;
  • The mask from La Joya has multiple small horns attached around the two main horns;
  • They are used as molds over and over every year;
  • These two groups carry whips and use them to fight each other in the main streets of the town;
  • Mainly they were to commemorate planting and harvest times.

Visitors and Dominicans alike wait with anticipation for this time of year. The celebration brings with it so much color and tradition from the vivid colors of the costumes, the spirited music and lively dancing.

The droves and crowds of humans with voices raised. Experiencing the electricity even if the electric power may be out coming from the participants and viewers alike as all join in the festivities.

Carnival is a true Dominican experience. Africa tribes and Native Americans, among the many ancient peoples, used masks to either depict, get the attention of, or to hide themselves from a higher, or more spiritual being. The natives of the island, the Tainos, and the natives of the surrounding islands had their own festivities long before the arrival of the Spaniards.

Carnival in the Dominican Republic

Their celebrations were called areitos. Mainly they were to commemorate planting and harvest times. They also honored weddings, death and other significant happenings in their lives with these celebrations. They would use body decorations, tattoos, paint, jewelry, and masks during these festivals.

Later came the arrival of the Conquers and their African slaves. These new arrivals on the island brought with them carnival celebrations from their perspective countries.

All the characters of the Santo Domingo Carnival

The African peoples brought with them their own festivals and celebrations. These contributed the vibrant colors, and some of the traditions of making frightening masks, the musical instruments, dance and songs.

They also gave a little humor to the mix by making fun of themselves and life. It was a way to escape the hardships of life. Making their existence a little easier to bear by making jest of themselves and their circumstances.

Origin of Dominican Republic Carnival

The first part of this video is a Dominican Carnaval Troupe depicting the slaves and their captors. They act out the slaves being abused by their Spanish captors and the Monk is trying to stop this cruel atrocity.

If you cannot see the video it is located here https: Along with the arrival of Columbus and his entourage came European religion. Since carnival was mostly "pagan" the Spaniards added their religious inflections to the celebration. They wanted to permit their slaves to let loose and have a little diversion to get the "wild" out of their systems.

How Dominican Republic Celebrates Carnival

Even though they said this was for the slaves and the natives of the island, the slave owners enjoyed the unrestrained festivities also. To pacify their spiritual side, they had to add some religion into the mix.

Carnival has been celebrated in Santo Domingo since the mid 1500's and before. The people in the old town of La Vega disguised themselves as Moors and Christians the Moors, the name the Spanish gave the Islamic persons, and the Christians were always at odds. The celebrations became an escape of the pressures and rigidity of religious tradition. By the late 1700's carnival had become a major celebration. Then when Dominican Republic won their independence February 27,1844 the celebration evolved to encompass the Independence Day commemorations as well.

Finally, becoming what it is today. Beginning the traditional carnival with the pre-lenten celebrations, the climax concluding with the Independence Day observances.

  1. This was before the Carnival parade even started.
  2. She is naked with very long black hair, and her feet are backwards. It includes the massive and unlimited participation of the people.
  3. He visits periodically with mastercraft people in his hometown to keep abreast of new ideas and to enjoy carnival.
  4. By the late 1700s, the carnival had become a major celebration in the colony.

Carnevale in Greek is pronounced Aprokies and it means "farewell to meat". The original Latin word "carne vale," means farewell to meat. Many countries celebrate some type of Carnival. There are a multitude of different names as there are varieties of traditions that follow this custom. It is interesting to find that of the many different carnival traditions throughout the world how many of them are surprisingly similar.

All ages enjoy Carnaval and its festivities. This was before the Carnival parade even started.

  • These are carnival celebrations in private clubs, local businesses and their employees, as well as contests and other private balls which limit participation to members;
  • The African peoples brought with them their own festivals and celebrations;
  • While most of the communities across the island represent this character in different ways, several common practices are the use of a mask, a satanic suit, sleigh bells , and a whip or "Vejiga" an animal bladder filled with air to hit people in the streets other "Diablos".

If you cannot see this video it is available on YouTube here.