ROSEAU, Dominica – (January 6, 2011) – Discover Dominica Authority today announced the calendar of events for its upcoming Carnival celebration. Carnival is the most festive season in Dominica (Dom-in-EEK-a), a spectacular green island of rugged mountains, lush rainforests and rushing rivers in the Eastern Caribbean.
Carnival – or “The Real Mas” – is a pre-Lenten festival with a rich history dating back thousands of years. Carnival in Dominica is highlighted by a kaleidoscope of colors, a street parade and an exciting and entertaining street dance known as jump-up.
“Carnival is one of the most anticipated celebrations on the island,” said Colin Piper, director of tourism, Discover Dominica Authority. “Visitors and residents alike won’t want to miss the excitement that begins in early January, continues through February and culminates in early March.”
Carnival highlights for 2011 include:
• January 2 – March 5 (select dates): Calypso – This event features dozens of Carnival musicians, or calypsonians, who compete for the “Dominica Calypso Monarch” title. The competition begins in the weeks before the grand finale on Saturday, March 5.
• February 12: Opening Parade – The lively parade features Carnival queen and princess contestants, popular bands or Calypsonians, dancers in colorful costumes, stilt walkers (also called Moco Jumbies by locals) and cheerleaders who happily entertain enthusiastic spectators.
• February 20 and 27, March 4: Princess Show/Teenage Pageant/National Queen Show – This popular event showcases the talents and beauty of Dominica’s women and culminates with the crowning of Miss Dominica on March 4.
• March 7 and 8: Jump-up – This event features two days of costume bands and street dancing.
In addition to these key Carnival events that take place in the capital of Roseau, several small villages across the island also participate in the local pageantry.
Affordable accommodations in Dominica are still available for Carnival events by visiting http://www.dominica.dm/site/wheretostay.cfm.
History of Carnival
Carnival dates back more than 2,000 years to the primitive European tribes living before the rise of the Roman Empire. Linked to the pagan feasts welcoming the coming of spring, it began as a time to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of the fruitful spring and summer months. By the Middle Ages, the ritual of popular street Carnival became a part of European folk culture. Soon it was influenced by the music, costumes, songs, dance patterns, rituals and attitudes of the West Africans, and has continued to evolve over time to its present form today.
Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Dominica offers adventure experiences for travelers who are looking for a unique travel vacation in the Caribbean.
More information is available by visiting www.discoverdominica.com, contacting a travel professional or calling Discover Dominica Authority toll-free from the U.S. and Canada at 1-866-522-4057. Follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube.