Puerto Plata Carnival, a One-of-a-Kind Festival in the Caribbean

Discover everything about Carnival in Puerto Plata, one of the best festivities celebrated throughout the Dominican Republic.

Discover everything there is to know about Puerto Plata Carnival

February is carnival time all over the world. Beyond the hugely famous events that are held in Río de Janeiro or the Canary Islands, there is a little corner of the Caribbean that has one of the most unique celebrations in the world: The Puerto Plata Carnival. During this month, those who travel to the Bride of the Atlantic can enjoy the troupes, spectacular parades, local costumes, and popular dances accompanied by the island’s Latin rhythms.

History of the Puerto Plata carnival

The origins of the Puerto Plata carnival go back to the end of the 19th century. However, it wasn’t until the end of the 20th century that the Carnival became widespread and popular in the city, especially with the arrival of Cuban immigrants who promoted this festival, which has deep roots in their country of origin.

The Puerto Plata Carnival has had a boom in recent decades, promoted by Dominicans who want to highlight their cultural identity and folkloric roots. As part of this boom, the taimáscaros, emerged in 1991. This diablo cojuelo (limping devil) is native to the Puerto Plata carnival.

This figure comes from the union of the word ‘taíno,’ which refers to the native people who lived in the Antilles before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, and the word ‘mask’. The taimáscaros represent taíno deities which also have African and European elements, symbolizing the union between the three cultures that have forged Puerto Plata.

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The costume is made up of a mask with very pronounced eyes, ears, and features as well as a colorful costume which incorporates many details and elements. The pants are particularly of note. They’re covered with snails, which symbolizes Neptune, the god of the sea who protects Puerto Plata’s coasts.

The carnival ends with the crowning of the King Momo, which also happens in other carnivals in the world. He embodies the god of the city who has fought the most to maintain traditions and whose figure dates back to Greek mythology.

When is the Puerto Plata Carnival?

The Puerto Plata Carnival lasts for around 30 days and is celebrated during all of February and part of March. This year, the 2020 Puerto Plata Carnival will kick off on Sunday, February 2. This is followed by parades on February 9 and 23. Carnival ends on March 7 with a huge parade and the election of King Momo as the grand finale. These are the official dates of the parades, but the city will be flooded with color and music throughout the month.

Where is the Puerto Plata Carnival celebrated?

The carnival parades take place on the Puerto Plata pier in front of Long Beach as well as in the neighboring streets. However, you can find music troupes and other carnival celebrations in many other points of the city. One of these places is the Parque de la Independencia, or Independence Park, where the troupes usually perform.

Where to stay to enjoy Carnival

If you want to enjoy this display of the art and culture of Puerto Plata, don’t hesitate to come to The Bride of the Atlantic during Carnival time. This is one of the best cultural attractions in the city, but there are many others. Discover the 20 best things to do in Puerto Plata.

In addition to enjoying this popular event, coming to the Puerto Plata Carnival means you can enjoy a luxurious vacation at the Senator Puerto Plata Spa Resort, a spectacular 5-star hotel in front of a beautiful idyllic beach The hotel is designed for vacations focused on well-being, as it has a pool, a gymnasium, a spa, and numerous dining options. Thanks to its unbeatable location, you can discover all of the good things the Amber Coast has to offer.

Comments (1)

We are travelling to Puerto Plate Senator Feb.17-24th we are very excited as we have never been to this part of the Dominican but have been on many all Inclusive vacations. We heard this was an old RIU property and we have stayed at 6 RIUS prior so we are looking forward to out time away.

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