Paint or Be Painted: Carnaval In San Pedro Starts this Weekend

Mardi Gras or Carnival, the holiday is celebrated around the world. The festivus of eating, drinking and naughtiness before the beginning of Lent.

Different places do different things…we all know about the celebration in New Orleans or in Rio (Brazil attracts 70% of its tourists during this week alone!) but in San Pedro, it’s been going on for decades and it is totally unique.

I mean CRAZY different.   I’ve said before that Belize is not just any beach destination.  Here are a few reasons that Belize is so different and sooo special.

Carnaval is at the top of this list.  This is a festival that’s been held for decades – before San Pedro had tourists.  Get covered in paint with local kids, dance in the park, drink Belikin beers on a dock and then take a dip in ocean.  Everyone is involved.  Even our traffic guys.

Ok…maybe not your biggest environmental win but Viva Carnaval!

This year’s Carnaval is UPON US!  This coming weekend,  Saturday/Sunday to the final night of Fat Tuesday, 5th.  And then the 6th, Don Juan Carnval – who very specifically slept with women from EIGHT countries, is burned.

The House of Culture in San Pedro does a great show with history and past photos of the Carnaval.  Stop in starting this Friday – to see the history and a bunch of photos of our town elders in ladies-wear in their exhibition.  Here’s the Facebook page for the SP House of Culture for all the details.

This picture – look at the kids’ faces!

If you are looking for specific times or specific details – this is a very tough event.  The parades start usually as the sun is setting…or maybe a bit earlier.  They start when they start!

There are regulations – here are previous year’s…NO ROTTEN EGGS!

But I can give you a general overview of what to expect.

Sunday generally the tamest day to go out – the best day to take photos.  Music in the park and kids painting each other.   Lots of little kids.  Things really get going around 3pm.

It’s all generally very respectful – giving you just a little dab if you want it – or keeping you clean if you don’t.

They are so cute.

Monday and Tuesday turn a bit more crazy.  Monday is for teens…late afternoon.  Band of kids with paint roaming the Front Street and the beach…

If you don’t want accidental painting, it’s a good few hours to stay off the Front Street.  And to park your golf cart elsewhere!  If you are up for the fun, put on some old clothes and head to the park…

Tuesday is just all out craziness.  So super fun.  Everyone painting.  Dunking in the water and then painting again.

And I haven’t even mentioned the Comparsas yet!  The paint makes San Pedro unique for sure but the comparsas – groups dancing in the streets to raise money for their organization or charity – is cool.  But add in this…the dancers are traditional cross-dressing.

I’m not sure exactly why – just know that it’s fun.  There is no set schedule but these groups generally go each day – Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in the late afternoon.  Around 4pm – through the streets of San Pedro town.

More details will be coming…but if you like the idea of dancing in the streets of San Pedro with most of the town, this is the event for you.

As I said before VIVA CARNAVAL!

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