The Carnival is a festival that is celebrated world wide but in few places is it as spectacular as in Aruba. It is a celebration held before Lent, and in Aruba is such an important and anticipated part of local culture that Aruba Carnival 2011 - 2015 is already being planned. The festivities start in January and usually end right before Ash Wednesday.
Aruba is a tropical island with what are acclaimed as some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, a warm tropical climate and a population who delight in visitors to the island. Aruba is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with all the modern amenities and with a particularly friendly island flavor. This small island has some 92 different nationalities living within Aruba.
Experiencing a Carnival for the first time is a feast for the senses with colorful costumes, street dances, and local events, which reflect the island culture. Carnival is an important holiday for the locals, which has events, which extend from January until Ash Wednesday and represents the cleansing of the soul in preparation for Lent. The festival ends with the ceremonial effigy burning of King Momo. Masks and colorful costumes are a common feature of the Carnival.
While the parades and dances can be an incredible experience and a wonderful party for adults, Aruba also has parades for children, where kids are welcomed, and a junior Queen and King election is held for the younger crowd and the parades designated for children are suitable for young and old alike.
Everyone is welcomed in Aruba and at no other time is the island spirit as evident as at Carnival. There are grand parades, mini parades, street dances, torch parades and impromptu as well as scheduled events that feature dancing, music and color during the Carnival season.
Street parades provide the atmosphere for the Carnival and they are known as jump-ups. March 5, 2011 the largest street parade is scheduled for 4 Am beginning in the streets of St. Nicolas. At 1pm, it continues so that though the early hour may not suit everyone, the parades last for hours wending through the streets and even the late riser can get in on the fun.
On Sunday March 6, the 57th annual Oranestad Grand Parade begins at 11 am and as the grand finale for the festivities and final parade continues through the streets until the evening.
Carnival Monday is a national holiday signaling the the end of the season approaching. Each district has their own festivities and their own parades, but all officially end at some point on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
Although the carnivals are delightful and energetic, Aruba visitors can indulge in sunning, on what are widely believed to the pristine beaches in the world, or the more adventurous may choose to try windsurfing or even kite surfing. Deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling or perhaps an evening at the casino is part of the activities a visitor might indulge during this delightful season.
Aruba is known worldwide as a vacation paradise and the attractions of this gorgeous Caribbean island combined with the three-month party and festival atmosphere make it a favorite stop for world travelers, honeymooners and of course party lovers.