Caribbean Carnivals, Festivals & Special Events
Information on the major Caribbean carnivals, festivals and special events
Caribbean carnivals and festivals are renowned for their vibrant music and spectacular carnival costumes, taking months of work. Work often begins on the following year’s costumes as soon as the current year’s carnival is over.
The highpoint of Caribbean carnivals and festivals traditionally tended to be before Ash Wednesday – this is because religion is one of the major themes of carnival. But these days you’ll find carnivals taking place throughout the year.
Other themes of Caribbean carnivals and festivals are culture, folklore, and tradition – many having originated from Trinidad and Tobago.
Caribbean carnivals – country by country
Caribbean carnivals, festivals and special events
This page is just a brief introduction to Caribbean carnivals and festivals in the region, so for more information on Caribbean carnivals and festivals – country by country – click on each country image above.
Barbados Crop Over Festival & Junkanoo in the Bahamas
Huge festivals and events take place throughout the year in the Caribbean for various reasons. During July there’s the Crop Over Festival in Barbados, the island’s most popular and colourful festival with parades, calypso competitions, food stalls and folk concerts. Junkanoo, the colourful annual carnival in the Bahamas, used to be an annual Christmas-New Year celebration but due to its popularity there is now also a Junkanoo Summer which takes place throughout June and July.
Lobster festivals in Belize & Batabano in the Cayman Islands
In Belize there are lobster festivals during June and July and in the Cayman Islands Batabano takes place early-May and combines street parades with a food festival and band competition. The August Festival celebrations in the British Virgin Islands include fishing tournaments, regattas and reggae competitions.
French Caribbean islands
The French Caribbean – the Guadeloupe Islands, Martinique and St Barthélemy – traditionally celebrate their Caribbean carnivals and festivals before Ash Wednesday. You can’t avoid the carnival on tiny St Barthélemy, even if you wanted to, but it’s one of the Caribbean’s most chic… so you wouldn’t want to anyway.