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It’s Time for Carnival (Karnaval) 2023 on Bonaire!

by | Feb 8, 2023 | Activities, Culture, Events, Music & Performances

Carnival (Karnaval) dancer - Photo by Meredith Schnoll

Carnival (Karnaval) 2023 finally returns to Bonaire!

Just as the island recuperates from the end-of-year celebrations, we are now gearing up for the Carnival (Karnaval) 2023 starting this week!

Carnival, also known as Karnaval in Bonaire’s local language of Papiamentu, is finally returning after a two-year break. The anticipation of the parades and parties has everyone on the island excited! Over the next couple of weeks, there will be jump-ins, children’s parades, adult parades, and the burning of King Momo.

Vibrant costumes.

Each group within the parade has its own unique theme and dance. The costumes are vibrant and full of sequins, glitter and feathers. The costumes are so extravagant that many wonder how they are able to move in them, let alone dance in them! As each group passes you by during the parade, you will continue to be amazed at the effort involved in creating such a masterpiece.

How can I participate?

Jump-Ups and Jump-ins

Jump-ups and jump-ins are popular and feature live music and DJs. While jump-ins are stationary parties, jump-ups can roam from place to place through the streets of Bonaire. All you need to do is show up, have fun, and join in with the crowd.

The Children’s Parade.

The Children’s Parade is held in Rincon and Kralendijk and features Bonaire’s youth. The Children’s Parade allows the kids to get involved and is fun for the entire family.

The Adult Grand Parades.

The Adult Grand Parade is the weekend after the Children’s Parade, beginning in Rincon on Saturday and in Kralendijk on Sunday. The participating groups in the parades are energetic while dancing in the streets and displaying their stunning costumes.

Helpful Tips during Carnival 2023.

Be sure to arrive early if you want to a particular spot to stand and be ready to dance along with the loud music. If you are sensitive to loud noises, bring earplugs! Your ears will thank you. The sheer number of speakers on vehicles in the parade is insane! If you are attending a parade during the day, don’t forget your sunscreen and lots of water! Most shady spots (if any) will be claimed way before the parade even begins. And of course, there will be plenty of vendors along the streets selling food and drinks so that you stay hydrated and keep your energy high.

If you are on Bonaire now through February 21st, you are in for an unforgettable experience! So join in, have a drink, dance to the wonderful music, and experience Carnival 2023! Check out our Calendar of Events for more information.


(Source: Bonaire Insider, Photo by Meredith Schnoll)

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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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