Paint or Be Painted: 2014 Carnaval in San Pedro – Fun Photos & Selfies

ANOTHER fantastic time to visit Belize, if JUST for the photos:  CARNVAL.

Carnaval, San Pedro’s celebration before Catholic Lent begins, is a very unique and totally fun town tradition.   The holiday is known mostly for “Comparsas” or parading groups that cross-dress & dance and PAINTING.  Why let towns like Rio and New Orleans have all the fun with Mardi Gras time?

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Lots and lots of painting.  Kids and adults running through the streets painting and be painted.

My favorite picture that I took in 2011 – needed no enhancement.

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Just last year, the event seem to get a bit better organized and promoted by the Town Council.  They have an official facebook page with lots of pictures and some write-ups that do a good job of describing this tradition that, I think, only takes place on Ambergris Caye.

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‘The season traditionally began…about a month before Ash Wednesday, and culminated in the three days of El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro. The season began with los Mascarados, or men in masks and various disguises who would process through the streets of San Pedro at night while dragging chains behind them. Accompanied by musicians, they would wear masks of paper mache and dress like old men and women, witches, ghosts, demons, and even priests with black cassocks. One man would impersonate the devil and scare the little children; only the priest could chase him away. Los Mascarados danced, but did not speak so as to hide their identity.

The event resulted in good natured fun, even if largely at the expense of terrified children. Throughout the year, parents often threatened misbehaving children with los Mascarados and sometimes got compliance.’

The entire proposed schedule is at the bottom of this post (from the Facebook page above) but the three big party nights are March 2nd, 3rd and 4th this year.  Such a fun time to visit if you like to take pictures and you like a good party.  But if you chose to get painted, be ready to be picking bits of paint out of your hair for at least a week.

Just a warning.

Easter is on the late side this year – April 20th.

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Here are some pictures of Comparsas and the painting of years past.  I look forward to ALL of this year’s events.

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The town clock in its Carnaval-wear.

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A Mennonite gentleman getting a bit of paint…
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And the parading…

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It’s also the only time for me and selfies…

2012.

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2011.

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Tee hee.  Exact same expression.  This kid looks equally happy with his paint.

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Here is the pre-announced list of activities.  It’s a great time to visit and there is plenty of time to book!

PRE-CARNAVAL EVENTS:


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15th: MISS CARNAVAL POPULARITY CONTEST
• Live Music/DJ Music
• Entertainment
• Carnaval cultural presentation by contestants
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd: BAILE DE DISFRAZ (MASQUERADE BALL)
• Masquerade Ball
• Hors d’oeuvres & drinks
• Live Music/DJ Music
• Prizes for best costumes
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27th: CARNAVAL PHOTO EXHIBITION
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28th: GRAN DESFILE DE TRADICIÓN (CARNAVAL PARADE)
• Carnaval Parade (4:00 pm)
• Group presentations on stage
SATURDAY, MARCH 1st: SÁBADO DE BANDO (BLOCK PARTY)
• Opening Ceremony
• Carnaval: Past, Present & Future. Two hour dance show perform by the San Pedro Dance Academy
• Performance by Los Mascarados
• Coronation of Carnaval Queen
• Live Music & DJ Music
• Food Booths
o Venue: Central Park
o Time: 7:00 pm
SUNDAY, MARCH 2nd: DOMINGO DE CARNAVAL
• Comparsas (Street Performances) & Painting
MONDAY, MARCH 3rd : LUNES DE CARNAVAL
• Comparsas (Street Performances) & Painting
TUESDAY, MARCH 4th : MARTES DE PINTADERA
• Comparsas (Street Performances)
• Martes de Pintadera Beach Party (1:00 pm – 12:00 pm)
• Stress-Release Carnaval Arts
• Flash Mob
• Final Comparsas Dance Presentation (10:00 pm)
• Painter’s Parade
• Award Ceremony at Central Park
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5th : DON JUAN CARNAVAL
• Ash Wednesday Mass (7:00 pm)
• The Wedding (8:30 pm)
• Reading of the Will of Juan Carnaval
• Funeral Procession of Juan Carnaval
• Burning of Juan Carnaval

I will certainly be attending as many events as I can and…reporting back.





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