In Filipino culture each community has a weeklong fiesta full of parades, costumes, beauty pageants, fireworks, and roasted pigs. On the island of Bonaire a similar celebration known as Carnaval has this same spirit of feasting and drinking freely before subsequent budget-induced fasting in the months which follow.

Gathering on the streets to witness the parade was an interesting mix of Latino culture with salsa music blasting, Dutch residents interwoven among the locals, and tourist spectators stealing selfies with the passing floats. In the background a giant cruise ship stood along the ocean and overhead a drone captured the action from above.

Although this parade lacked the drumming that characterizes Filipino fiesta, the energy of Carnaval was evident as young children and tourists alike danced in the streets with the passing parade. The sidewalks in town were packed! But leaving town the streets felt oddly empty because everyone was gathered to watch the parade.

And the party did not stop after the Sunday afternoon parade finished. Two days later the paraders were at it again for round two, but this time under the stars with Christmas lights to illuminate their costumes. I tried to snap day and night versions of the best costumes and floats.

Take a close look at the photos above. Although I could not find the same bikini-clad, body glittered space cadet from the daylight photo, the woman in the background of photo one was my counterpart in the second nighttime photo.


2 thoughts on “Carnaval”

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