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It’s Time for Bonaire’s Carnival (Karnaval) 2024!

by | Jan 25, 2024 | Activities, Culture, Events, Local News, Music & Performances

Bonaire Carnival (Karnaval) 2024 is about to begin!

Carnival (Karnaval) 2024 is right around the corner!

After recovering from the year-end festivities, Bonaire is now preparing for the Carnival 2024 celebrations. While various celebrations have already begun, the parades begin next weekend, starting with the children’s parades.

Carnival, also known as Karnaval in Bonaire’s local language of Papiamentu, is all about parades, parties, and traditions. The anticipation of the parades and parties has everyone on the island ready to experience the excitement! Over the next couple of weeks, there will be jump-ins, children’s parades, adult parades, and the burning of King Momo, which is quite spectacular and should not be missed!

Elaborate and vibrant costumes.

Each group in the parade showcases its distinct theme and dance. The costumes they wear are filled with sequins, glitter, and feathers, radiating vibrancy. The extravagance of these costumes often leaves onlookers in awe, questioning how participants manage to move, let alone dance, in such elaborate attire. As each group parades past the crowds, the ongoing spectacle continues to amaze everyone, highlighting the remarkable effort invested in crafting these stunning masterpieces. The seamstresses put a lot of hard work into their creations, and it sure does show! You may even notice that the groups have different costumes for each parade, So plan on joining more than one parade for the full experience.

How can I participate?

Tumba Festivals for Adults and Youth

The Tumba Festivals are scheduled for both adults and youth. Tumba is the special music that is specifically for Carnival (Karnaval), and each year, the music is chosen in special competitions by the Tumba musicians for Carnival (Karnaval).

Jump-Ups and Jump-ins

Jump-ups and jump-ins are widely enjoyed and include live music and DJs. All you have to do is buy tickets in advance, embrace the enjoyment, and seamlessly become a part of the party.

The Children’s Parades

The Children’s Parade, showcasing the youth of Bonaire, provides an opportunity for kids to actively participate and promises enjoyment for the entire family.

The Adult Grand Parades.

The Adult Grand Parades are the weekend after the Children’s Parade, beginning in Rincon on Saturday and in Kralendijk on Sunday. Of course, it ends with the night parade on the final night before Lent. Energetic groups take to the streets, showcasing vibrant dance moves and displaying their stunning costumes during the parades. The lively atmosphere and captivating performances contribute to the festive spirit of the celebrations.

Helpful Tips during Carnival 2024.

To secure a preferred viewing spot and join in the lively dancing to the loud music, it’s advisable to arrive early. For those sensitive to loud noises, bringing earplugs is recommended to ensure a more comfortable experience, given the impressive number of large speakers on the parade vehicles. If attending a daytime parade, don’t forget sunscreen and water, as shaded areas are likely to be claimed well in advance. Additionally, street vendors will be on hand to provide food and drinks, ensuring you stay hydrated and energized throughout the festivities.

Enjoy the Celebration!

If you are on Bonaire at the end of January through February 13th, especially February 10th, 11th, and 13th for the Adult Grand Parades, you are in for an unforgettable experience! So join in, have a drink or two, dance to the wonderful music, and experience Carnival 2024 – Bonaire style!

Also, if you’ve made it to the end of this article and plan on attending the Adult Grand Parades, keep your eyes peeled on the groups of people dancing in vibrant costumes throughout the parade, as you just may see a familiar face!

Check the Calendar of Events page for more information, and have a BLAST!


(Source: Bonaire Insider)

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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