The Bonairean Karnaval

Karnaval on Bonaire

On Friday January 6th, the start of the Carnaval season of 2023 on Bonaire has kicked off. From mid January till March everyone is occupied by the festivities, Carnaval is therefore the most important celebration on Bonaire. The Bonairean Carnaval has multiple aspects which includes many parades and other festivities, like the teen carnaval.

The 2 highlights of the season are the big parades, or other known as the Marcha Grandi. These parades are on following days, first in Rincon, the next day in Playa. When the parades are finished, it doesn’t mean that the party is over! The festivities will continue around the many food and drink stands that are special made for the Carnaval.

It is not that strange that carnaval has a big impact on Bonaire. Carnaval is catholic by origin and approximately 77% of the residents of Bonaire is catholic.

The end of Carnaval is on a Tuesday evening and closes of with a last parade. This parade will follow the same route as the previous parades. The party ends around midnight with a special tradition: the burning of King Momo. King Momo is a symbol for sin, infertility and misfortune. These are all elements that need to be removed before the fasting period can start.

So as we say on Bonaire; Felis Karnaval!