Dominican Republic carnival parades kicked off this past Sunday in the major provinces and cities. I attended Puerto Plata’s first parade, held along a small portion of the city’s seafront boulevard.
The set up for the first Puerto Plata Carnival parade was average–with limited stage-front space for viewers to enjoy the show fully, and little time for the participants to dance and show off their costumes. The crowds and participants begin to show up around 2PM, with the event kicking off around 3pm (always remember, Dominican time!). The best part of the day was actually before the event started, talking to the various tribes, and for me–capturing images of their creative costumes, and getting footage of them dancing freely. And getting beers at the Malecon-facing cafes.
Carnival in the DR dates back to the 16th century–and incorporates folklore and history, showcased in unique ways in the various provinces (who compete for a national prize at the end of carnival season). Each province also has its overall carnival identity and name–in Puerto Plata, it’s the Taimascaros–Tai for Taino and mascarao for masks which dominate the >Continue reading »
The most exciting and and most important cultural season of the year in the Dominican Republic is here: Carnival. Or as we say here in the DR,Carnaval.
Last Saturday night, with the end of January, Puerto Plata held its annual Gran Gala de Carnaval and the selection of Puerto Plata Carnival Queen. Aside from the beauty pageant side, the four-hour packed show was a gorgeous showcase of the DR’s cultural diversity, with various comparsas dancing in vibrant costumes, iconic Dominican carnival characters (more on that later), and an infectious energy that is just a snippet of what’s to come this month.
Unlike other Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic celebrates carnival with parades for six weekends–not just the days preceding Lent–in every major city and province, including Santo Domingo, Santiago, La Vega, >>Continue reading »