Carnival time across the Caribbean

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL February 3, 2013
carnival, Caribbean

Feasting before the fast

Carnival season is in full swing across the Caribbean Basin and Latin America – Rio’s big day is February 8, Cap-Haitien will party for three straight days, February 10 to 12, Trinidad and Tobago for two (Feb 11 and 12) and today is carnival in Jacmel, Haiti’s legendary, 300-year-old cultural capital. I am headed there to find out what the exuberance is all about.

The excesses and the endurance of the fasting-feasting (carne-vale: farewell to meat) cycle goes to the heart of the carnival, which enshrines some pre-Christian practices but now, marks the last burst of partying before Lent.

Jacmel, Haiti, carnival

Beautiful Jacmel in the southeast of Haiti

Jacmel is famous for its carnival celebrations and the setting itself is considered simply spectacular, especially with the town’s history of welcoming the Venezuelan military and political leader Simon Bolivar twice during a testing period in his country’s life, as it struggled for independence.

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac