Antigua Carnival, like many others, is associated with colours, sounds and joyful festivities. Antigua Carnival has its origins in Catholic Europe and derives its name from the locking away of meat before the period of Lent.
The expansion of this celebration touched the Caribbean when the area was colonised by the European superpowers starting from the late 15th century. From here on in, the Carnivals gained an African influence from the slaves imported to work the plantations and celebrations such as the Antigua Carnival were established.
Nowadays, the Antigua Carnival spans four months of authentic food, music and dance.
Antigua Carnival Events
Even before the Antigua Carnival kicks off there are some pre-carnival events to get the party atmosphere going. There is the H20 which is an inclusive wet fête in July. Beauty is celebrated through the Queen of the Carnival and many competitions play a part in the Antigua Carnival schedule.
Calypso music also has its role in the Antigua Carnival and is exceptionally popular in the Caribbean. Calypso music uses satire and rhythm to create interesting, funny and authentic songs that take a light hearted look at social events of the past year. Given the huge popularity of Calypso music, the Calypso Monarch competition and various other events form the highlights of the carnival.
For steel drums and authentic Caribbean music, panorama may be the thing for you. These two events both kick off at 8 PM. Another Antigua carnival highlight is the J'ouvert celebration. J'ouvert is an abridged version of "Journée Ouvert" coming from the French for "Open Day."
The day involves an open street party, boasting an inviting and friendly nature. Soca and Calypso bands are in attendance along with many dancers from before dawn until well into the afternoon. The whole Antigua Carnival is finally brought to a close with the beach bash, a little over a week into August.
Antigua Carnival Trip Planner
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