Few times of year can compete with the fun and festivities that the small island nation of Aruba enjoys from New Year’s Day to Ash Wednesday every year. During the season of Carnival, this small Caribbean nation comes alive with an island wide party that spans two months. Locals young and old come out in droves and dress in fun and elaborate costumes, play jubilant music and dance the night away. A true celebration of life, Carnival is a time to rejoice and a great time to visit Aruba. The weather is as perfect as ever and the night life just can’t be beat.
Carnival was first brought to the island nation of Aruba in the 1940’s, by people immigrating there from the British West Indies. Based upon the Carnival in Trinidad, the version brought to Aruba featured drama and music and artfully crafted costumes. Music teems down the street and seems to pulse through the air, as the whole island comes out to celebrate. There are parades every evening and wonderful “jump ups” every day. As more and more cultures have come to Aruba and called it home, more and more bits of culture have found themselves infused within the Carnival celebrations on Aruba.
If you come to Aruba during the months of January and February, you can expect to hear music from around the world. Tantalizing Latin salsa music plays alongside Steel drums and calypso beets. In the background you may hear Dutch oom-pa-pa’s and Antillean “tumba” music. As Carnival swirls around you, your eyes will feast on colorful floats, luxurious and elaborate costumes and glitter, lots and lots of glitter! The party reaches a fevered pitch with the arrival of the Grand Parade and then the entire island takes the next day off as that Monday is a holiday to rest and recuperate.
Carnival is one of the most vibrant celebrations in the entire world. Celebrated by many different nations across the Caribbean, each country has their own flavor. Aruba, with its ideal weather and harmonious, multi-cultural population is the best of all worlds. Arguably one of the most enjoyable celebrations in the Caribbean, it should be on every Caribbean vacationer’s “To-Do” list. Complete with parades, competitions and costumes it is sure to delight every visitor, both young and old. Less racy than the festivities on some of the neighboring islands it is also largely suitable for families. If you are thinking of spending your winter vacation anywhere, why not look at coming to Aruba and celebrating there?