And you are going to the carnival of the Independence Day of the Dominican Republic?
And you are going to the carnival of the Independence Day of the Dominican Republic?

If you refer to Wikipedia, you may discover that:

Carnival is the most important and transcendent festivity of Dominican popular culture. Carnival is a recreational celebration of freedom, integration and identity. The masks, the exaggeration, the sarcasm, the unusual, the satirical, the unpublished, the bold, the grotesque and the imaginary are fundamental parts of the carnival.

Carnival: Dominicans know how to enjoy life!
Carnival: Dominicans know how to enjoy life!

In the Dominican Republic it is possible to distinguish two general types of carnival:

Carnival acts.
  1. the one of carnestolenda, originating from Spain and that is celebrated before the beginning of Lent although with the time it has gone associating more to the patriotic celebrations of the 27 of February and 16 of August;
  2. the cimarron, which is usually celebrated in the last days of Holy Week. It originates from African traditions.

While carnival carnival is celebrated throughout the country, also associated with national holidays, carnival marrons are celebrated where they were most common where there were cimarron movements during the Spanish colonization.

Because the carnestolenda carnival is the one that has had the most diffusion and the one that is most propagandized, some of African origin have been moving the date of celebration to make them coincide with those of European type. It also happens with the Guloyas of San Pedro de Macorís and other parts of the east of the country. The Guloyas are street representations of biblical events that previously only appeared at Christmas time; It is a tradition brought by immigrants from the Lesser Antilles of England (the cocolos) so they use musical instruments that are not used in other carnivals in the country.

Those beautiful Taino Indians can be found at the Puerto Plata carnival.
Those beautiful Taino Indians can be found at the Puerto Plata carnival.

This is what Wikipedia writes about carnivals in the Dominican Republic.

But if you describe in your own words these wonderful impressions of this great event:

The universal joy is above the human understanding! Dominicans are open and kind people! The indicator of the joy of life after the carnival grows three times and holds another 12 months, until the next carnival!

What is the carnival without the hot Dominican Reggedon?
What is the carnival without the hot Dominican Reggedon?

There are also Haitian influences, especially in some characters. Robalagallina, one of the most popular characters in carnival in honor of homosexuality, was developed during the Haitian Occupation and had its origin in the city of La Vega; also appears in the carnival of Jacmel, Haiti.

But the most common character, with all its variants, is the Devil cojuelo (sometimes called Devil box). It retains that name in La Vega whereas in Salcedo and Bonao they are called Macaraos; in Santiago de los Caballeros,  Lechones, etc.

This balcony will accommodate all family and friends!
This balcony will accommodate all family and friends!

The Pepines are the ones with the most mouth like that of the Donald duck (with wide crushed beak), crowned with two large bull horns (the horns of the “jewelery” masks show coralliform excrescences). They have the torso closely held by a belt “in the form of longaniza”. They jiggle, jump and dance with the female figures, the robalagallinas.

We celebrate independence in the family circle. With music and traditional Dominican rum.
We celebrate independence in the family circle. With music and traditional Dominican rum.

Those (according to the statues located at the foot of the Monument to the Heroes, on the eminence of the center of Santiago, with explanatory words exposing their role in popular Dominican traditions throughout) are classically of two distinct types: the “simple” is a pretty, slim girl who wears a long skirt, tight wasp waist in a corset, hair in overalls and a parasol – while the “exaggerated” is obese, and has a huge forehead and broad cast, both often attractive touches attracting touch-ups and kicks of the “piglets” … But now the thin “robagallinas” wear a bathing suit and a large tuft of feathers in the fashion of Rio’s girls, and those with skirts (both thin and “exaggerated”) are often men in disguise.

These are some special balloons that explode with a loud sound that scares the spectators. Blessing of the Lame Devil.
These are some special balloons that explode with a loud sound that scares the spectators. Blessing of the Lame Devil.

At the end of the 19th century, many families emigrated from Cuba due to the war of liberation in that country. The great majority of these families stayed to live in cities of the north and the center of the Dominican Republic: Puerto Plata, Santiago, La Vega. They brought their Cuban customs, among them the Cuban comparsas, being very famous comparsas like La Culebra de San Blás in La Vega3 and El Baile del Caimán and the one of La Negrita Conga in Puerto Plata and other places of the Northwest Line.

Incendiary dances and impressive masks are the hallmark of Dominican carnivals.
Incendiary dances and impressive masks are the hallmark of Dominican carnivals.

Carnival: the most charming and crowded vacation in the Dominican Republic. Colorful processions pass through the cities and towns of the island from the end of January to mid-March (and in the capital, Santo Domingo, also on August 16), and each place has its own raisins.

Children are a special feature of Dominican carnivals. They play an important role in this event!
Children are a special feature of Dominican carnivals. They play an important role in this event!

Preparation begins long before the action itself, ordinary people take part in it. For the carnival, Dominican families prepare especially unusual masks, costumes and even whole wagons. Many local residents carefully store carnival decorations that are handed down from generation to generation.

Students from the province of Puerto Plata also came to "hang around with friends".
Students from the province of Puerto Plata also came to “hang around with friends”.

The festival brings together a large number of carnival groups, which show bright, funny and impressive costumes in the most unusual styles, and guests from different countries arrive in the capital, up to 200 groups, the participants come here.

First choose the king and queen, then the processions begin. The processions go on foot, they spin in the dance, they sing popular songs, they show theatrical performances, they frighten and laugh. Around the waste of colors and incendiary rhythms. The spectators are impressed by the scope of the action and a special festive atmosphere: no one can stand on the spot, they all dance to the rhythm of the music.

Carnival incendiary dances and hot girls.
Carnival incendiary dances and hot girls.

The central character in the Dominican carnival is the lame devil, who hits the back with the bullish bubble of those around him: it is not worth dodging it, since it is believed that these comic beatings bring good luck.

Some groups show daily or historical scenes: for example, the liberation of the Dominican Republic from foreign invaders, the punishment of Hitler for atrocities or the ritual of voodoo.

Children - the meaning of life!
Children – the meaning of life!

People say that in the carnival season brave girls act topless to admire the gentleman. For that the gentlemen present them the bracelets.

The best participants of the festivities of different cities of the country go to the main masquerade, in Santo Domingo, on the boardwalk of the capital. Here is the greatest fun for Creole and Latin American rhythms.

Characters as if they had left the canvas of Pablo Picasso.
Characters as if they had left the canvas of Pablo Picasso.

In Santiago carnivals have social connotations: different classes of society compete with each other, in Monte Cristi, masked in bullfight cost all those who stand in the way, in San Pedro de Macorís the descendants of black slaves wear suits of The men in La Vega wear exotic masks of papier-mâché. After the festivities, reward the creators of the images and the brightest costumes.

Carnival masks and costumes are handed down from generation to generation.
Carnival masks and costumes are handed down from generation to generation.

This festivity unites all Dominicans from all walks of life, when everyone takes to the streets as participants or spectators. The parades begin in the main regions and cities of the Dominican Republic.

In February 2018 carnivals will be held in the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, the province of La Vega, the city of Santiago and the resorts of Punta Cana and Puerto Plata.

Part of the game is the loud whistle.
Part of the game is the loud whistle.

They precede Lent, which begins on the first Sunday of February, and then continue every Sunday of the month, until its culmination, on Independence Day of the Republic, on February 27.

The Dominican Carnival is the oldest in the Caribbean. This tradition was brought by the Spaniards in the 15th century. Little by little, the party was transformed, mixing with the customs of the local Indians and the African slaves brought to the island. For many years the carnival has become a Dominican version, consisting of characters that tell the history and folklore of the different provinces of the country.

The concept of "enjoying life" includes the habit of communicating with the whole World.
The concept of “enjoying life” includes the habit of communicating with the whole World.

The variety is in fact the cornerstone of carnival in the Dominican Republic. From the most spectacular costumes of the north coast, dominated by the motives of the Taino Indians, to the southeast, with their African traditions, the Dominican carnival shows all the beauty of the culture and history of the Dominican Republic.

This is the goddess of the harvest. Embodiment of generosity and good nature.
This is the goddess of the harvest. Embodiment of generosity and good nature.

Cities like Santo Domingo, La Vega (Carnival of the Vega) are the capitals of the carnival, with the oldest traditions of the country. Although the former dictator Rafael Trujillo prioritized the “social carnivals” for the elite and created a class division with performances by private clubs, the Dominican people did more and made it a vacation for everyone.

Evaluate the losses from the "asphalt disease".
Evaluate the losses from the “asphalt disease”.

Each city or province has its main Christmas character: the devil lame or devil cojuelo. According to legend, he was thrown from Heaven to Earth, as a result of which, his leg was injured.

If you do not see the devil at the carnival, then you are not in the Dominican Republic. In addition, the parades include characters of Dominican folklore and groups of comparsas, staging that go from comic sketches to political actions. There are not two identical carnivals here, and to appreciate the full variety, you will have to travel through the thirty-one provinces of the Republic.

Motoconcho - yes, in the Dominican Republic a good climate. And then a motorcycle taxi ride is much more pleasant than in the car.
Motoconcho – yes, in the Dominican Republic a good climate. And then a motorcycle taxi ride is much more pleasant than in the car.

The carnival ends on the first Sunday of March with the great National Parade or the National Parade in Santo Domingo. The most popular demons and carnival groups from thirty-one provinces compete on the embankment of the city for national prizes. This final part is the most colorful and impressive of all the carnivals throughout the Caribbean.

Do not forget the water!
Do not forget the water!

Dates of the celebration in 2018:

  • La Vega: January 24 – February 27, 2018
  • Puerto Plata: from January 24 to February 27, 2018
  • Santo Domingo: the last carnival parade on March 4, 2018.
  • Punta Cana: January 24 – February 27, 2018

We recommend buying a tour to the Dominican Republic in February 2018 and visit this colorful event.

What is the carnival without tourists wearing masks?
What is the carnival without tourists wearing masks?

 

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Degustating the taste of life at the carnival
Joy of life
Openness and good nature
Universal happiness
Summary
The universal joy is above the limits! Dominicans are open and kind people! The indicator of the joy of life after the carnival grows three times and holds twelve months till the next carnival
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Life is Beautiful!
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