While beach bumming, museum visits, exquisite resorts, activities and tours are often a given among “tropical vacationer”, Caribbean festivals on the other hand help break down the barriers and bring island hoppers and locals together through music, parades, dancing, and food with their own unique spin of celebration. These festival acts as a showcase of distinctive Caribbean’s culture, giving you an authentic experience to pair nicely with beach relaxation.
Let’s take a stroll on the celebrations that many Caribbean vacations deals offer while you visit the tropics.
Festivals in the tropical islands really show off the soulful vibe of their rich culture and unmatched history. They provide a great way for travelers to meet and engage with locals. Reggae Sumfest is one of them. Reggae music emerged in 1993 and is hugely popular in Africa, in fact all over the world. More than 3000 fans turn up every year to enjoy these musical delights. The festival houses both locally and internationally recognized artists including Shaggy, Sean Paul, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and more, who graces the stage every year with their performances. Coming Reggae Sumfest 2014 is all set up to mark a grand 22nd annual staging of the event.
St. Lucia Jazz Festival in St. Lucia
This blowout 10 days musical gala is for all the jazz lovers and gives an international flavor to the old age tradition of jazz and blues. The St. Lucia Jazz Festival founded in 1991, has grown into one of the premier events in the Caribbean and scheduled in May every year. Both local talents and international jazz artist perform several live series of concerts that will keep you grooving all the while.
Crop Over Festival in Barbados
Crop Over is a ceremony originally held to celebrate the end of the sugar cane harvest in July. But nowadays, the essence of this festival lies in traditional calypso music, which infuses the entire event with its infectious rhythm and pithy lyrics. The celebration also features a myriad of street fairs, parades and the festival ends with the Grand Kadooment parade, concert and party.
Junkanoo in the Bahamas
Junkanoo is a famous street parade with music, which traditionally occurs in Christmas season. The festival originated in 17th century during the slave trade when slaves were given 3 days off at Christmas, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, to celebrate their temporary freedom. The largest parade or “rush” takes place in the Bahamas capital- Nassau, where thousands of revelers pack Shirley and Bay streets, dance, sing and watch the parade.
Carnival-Port of Spain, Trinidad and Santiago, Dominican Republic
It is by far the biggest carnival in the region in February, packed and frenetic for 48 hours. The Carnival is not a local-only affair; the vacationers can also buy a costume and join the celebration. The carnival is heaven for lovers of steel bands, Calypso or Soca music with even more concerts and a series of themed parades.
Tumba Festival in Curacao
Tumba is the form of music which precisely means “drum” in Spanish; just a few bars of the driving rhythm and you will all understand why it is called Tumba. The Festival is a four-day music extravaganza held every year in mid January and features the island’s top Tumba bands competing for the honor of playing that year’s official Carnival Road March song. The event typically houses a dozen or more musicians, costumed dancers, sponsored logos and elaborated stagecraft.
Pirates Week in Cayman Islands
The Pirates week is coming your way this fall in November. Being the only major pirate festival held in the Caribbean proper, it is a 11 day long celebration filled with music, street dances, treasure hunts, food, parades, sporting events, heritage days, costume competitions, even a “surprise” mock pirate invasion at George Town harbor. So enjoy it as a part of all inclusive tropical vacation packages available at leading Caribbean vacation providing websites.
Festival de Merengue in Santo Domingo
Head to Dominican Republic in July and you can hear the urgent upbeat rhythm of merengue and its musical cousin, bachatá, just about anywhere. The annual Merengue Festival lasts less than a week and sprouts a string of open-air stages and massive sound systems, and thousands of ever-moving fans gather in knots around each one to hear their favorite band or DJ play.
Sailing Week in Antigua
The place offers a perfect sailing base that attracts the international racing elite, as well as amateur sailing enthusiasts, for a weeklong competition in April. Antigua’s iconic regatta has been a fixture on the yacht-racing calendar since 1967, when about 10 boats sailed from 1 beach resort to another propelled by steady easterly trade winds.
National Carnival in St Kitts
This carnival hits the celebration the day after Christmas and named as boxing day in many parts of the world along with a traditional J’ouvert party and runs through New Year’s Day. However like other Caribbean carnivals there are street parties, performances, and musical competitions to keep you glued.