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CARNAVAL EN LA REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA

Petit Futé's opinion on CARNAVAL EN LA REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA

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The national holiday is the expression of the Dominican idendité and the most important party! There was popular rejoicing throughout the country in remembrance day on February 27, 1944. All classes of the company participate and each city has its own customs. As in all the Caribbean islands, Carnival is a popular celebration in the Dominican Republic. The origin of the carnival dates back to the Saturnalia celebrations of the Roman Empire. The celebration of carnival dates from the Spanish conquest, a time when the colonisateurs colonisateurs in America. The first Dominican carnival was celebrated in February 1520 at the Vega Vieja, in honour of Bartolomeo de las Casas who visited the region. During the colonial period, there were numerous carnivals, such as the carnival of Carnestolenda, or those set up in honour of San Juan Bautista, Las Mercedes, San Miguel, San Carlos, Corpus Christi, etc. The inhabitants would dress in Moors and Christians for the celebrations. Originally, the two periods of its celebration corresponded to the days preceding lent and the summer solstice. In 1795 Carnivals was celebrated in Santiago for the Feast of Saint James apostle for Corpus Cristi. Cabral's wild carnival, coinciding with Easter, has African origins.

Today, the dates of carnival coincide with the anniversary of the day of national independence on 27 February, and that of the restoration of the Republic on 16 August. Carnival is above all a popular celebration where collective improvisation plays a great role. All classes of the company participate. The constant holiday atmosphere throughout the country finds its a. Masks and costumes recall the traditions and customs of the past, a past with African and Spanish roots whose cultural differences are reflected in groups, or comparsas, which pass through you.

Each city has its well-established traditions, with its masks, costumes, music and characters. At the hit-parade of characters, the Africanos, the Indios, the Ali Baba, the Diabolos Cojuelos ("horned devils"), the hens, Se Muere Rebeca, the fowls and the caliph, hold the top of the pavement. The most famous carnivals are Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macoris, Montecristi, Samaná, Santiago and La Vega.

The carnival of Santo Domingo was originally celebrated on the Condé. But the construction of the Seawall, the seaside avenue, surpassed the old Condé, and today the best comparsas in the country. It ends with a colourful gala parade on the Seawall.

In San Pedro de Macoris, the guyolas walk with costumes decorated with small mirrors in the sound of rustic drums. Let us also pass the Cocolos, descendants of old slaves whose tradition of «Afro-English dance dance» is inscribed in the intangible heritage of UNESCO. The tradition of the Dansé dance theatre was born in the mid th century among British immigrants from the Caribbean who came to the Dominican Republic. From distinct languages and cultures, this community has founded its own churches, schools, charities and caring services. Performances of theatre danced were their most specific form of cultural expression. Mixing music and dance, this tradition is inspired by African sources, enriched by European elements, notably biblical elements. Cocolo theatre performances took place at Christmas, Saint-Pierre and during the carnival, combining the themes borrowed from different cultures, such as Christmas songs, farce or adaptations of intrigues or popular canvas, for example David and Goliath, Moko-Yombi, Cowboys and Indian.

At Montecristi, the fight between masqués and masked toros and armed toros takes place every Sunday in the streets in February.

In Samaná, the devils come out every Sunday of February armed with whips and bladders, accompanied by Death, a terrifying character.

La Vega carnival is one of the oldest in the country. The horned devils, with quills cornes, flogging the spectators on an uninterrupted basis.

Some figures from the Dominican Carnival:

King Caliph: he is a poet clothed with a frac and a black hat. He is critical of politicians and public figures. It starts the grand official carnival of the carnival.

Horned devils: they are the carnival emblem and the soul of the feast. According to popular legend, they represent the spirits of evil. They wear masks, with large horns and huge sharp teeth; they continue the public by symbolically striking them with cow-bladders.

Roba the Poule: He is a man dressed in a woman wearing an inordinate breast. He represents a bended of food for his pups. During the parade, he asks for sweets to the public.

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On February 27th.

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