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#430834 - 02/19/12 07:48 AM Getting Ready for Carnaval
Marty Offline

Carnaval in town started Saturday, Feb 18th - the 3rd annual Carnaval Fiesta at Central Park with the Miss Carnaval Popularity Contest, Local Dances and Surprises and the band, Rompe Raja. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be the comparsas and the painting. Get ready for it.

Getting Ready for Carnaval: Friday Night in San Pedro, Belize

#430909 - 02/20/12 10:04 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Carnaval in San Pedro: Dancing and Lots & Lots of Paint

Why let New Orleans and Rio De Janeiro have all the fun? San Pedro, Belize has been celebrating Mardi Gras for as long as anyone can remember. It is three days of dancing, partying and lots and lots of paint.

Yesterday, Sunday, was day one. And we saw the first comparsas...I think a uniquely San Pedro event. From what I can tell "comparsa" is a word used to describe a Latin American carnival-like parade of dancing and costumes. Our twist? Men dress like women and women like men. Why? Who knows?...it's just fun.

Day One also means lots of kids out with a mix of paint and water. Day Three brings out the older kids and adults with the paints. The clock tower was covered in huge tarp, smartly. There is no doubt that it would have been covered in multi-colored hand prints.

The mayoral tombstones were covered as well. Also smart.

But it's all fun and games 'til this happens.

If you are here on the island, get out there over the next two days. No one will paint you if you don't want to get painted. The comparsas performs at about 4pm each afternoon and on Tuesday, it will be a bigger parade. GO SAN PEDRO!

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more LOTS more KILLER photos on San Pedro Scoop

#430911 - 02/20/12 10:33 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
BrusselSprout Offline
I like the term "killer photos". Getting painted is good times!

#430972 - 02/21/12 08:16 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Who is Don Juan Carnabal?

Carnival has been celebrated since the 1930’s in the humble village of San Pedro and the idea has always been the same - to continue the festive spirit that Don Juan Carnabal once founded. Supposedly he was a rich personality who used to break many women’s hearts and had dozens of girlfriends and concubines. Prior to the commencement of lent, on “Sabado de Bando”, there was a big festival in San Pedro featuring music, dancing, food and bacchanalia. The festive spirit continued for three days of Carnival from Sunday to Tuesday and on Wednesday the period of lent with fasting and sacrifice commenced.

Carnival has been celebrated since the 1930's in the humble village of San Pedro. Don Juan Carnabal was a rich personality who used to break many women's hearts and had dozens of girlfriends and concubines.

Legend tells us that after Don Juan Carnabal died, the village continued the celebration in his honor. Now they made an effigy of Don Juan carving a face from a coconut and stuffing the clothing with grass. At the end of the festival at Central park there was a re-enactment of Don Juan’s wedding where his concubines lamented that he was getting married.

Don Juan’s last will and testament was read leaving his good looks, riches, wisdom, abilities, etc to all the men in the village. This was done in sarcastic humor sometimes biting remarks, but all in the spirit of comedy. To symbolize the end of the festival in his honor, the effigy or mannequin of Don Juan was burnt because it was felt that not doing so would bring bad luck to the entire village.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

#430973 - 02/21/12 08:19 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

San Pedro Carnaval 2012 Kick-Off Party

The San Pedro Carnaval celebrations were kick started with a party at Central Park on Saturday, February 18, 2012, with plenty of dances, food, drinks, a short skit and the crowning of the new Miss Carnaval 2012.

The San Pedro Town Council put on a lively show with dance presentations provided by the San Pedro Dance Group that provided entertainment of modern lively Carnaval music and the Dynamic Dancers that reenacted the traditional old Carnaval comparsa dances. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of “Los Enmascarados” (Masked Men) who traditionally took to the streets before Carnaval to scare the children of the village. Los Enmascarados took to the stage in full costume and entertained the audience. Doña Flora’s comparsa dancers also provided a show of the traditional street dancing presentations on stage.

Miss Carnaval 2011 Ileny Aguilar was on hand to crown the new Miss Carnaval, Miss Miriam Rodriguez who was delighted to invite the audience to participate in the celebrations for the next three days.

Mayor Elsa Paz and Ambergris Today were also busy selecting the winners of the competition for the evening. Prizes were handed for the Best Carnaval Themed Booth: Bayside Bar and Eatin’ Shack; Best Carnival Inspired Drink: San Pedro Carnaval Booth and Best Carnaval Food: Blue Hole Bar.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

#430974 - 02/21/12 08:21 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Mennonites and ‘Nacas’ Ruled Carnaval Day One

The painting and street dancing (comparsas) were in full swing on the first day of Carnaval in San Pedro, Belize as the traditional celebrations commenced on Sunday, February 19, 2012. Carnaval revelers took to the streets of downtown to enjoy in the painting while other residents came out to see the fun and entertaining comparsas (street dancers).

The San Pedro AIDS Commission was fun bunch with their interpretation of “Las Nacas” and doña Flora’s group dressed up as Mennonites and took to the streets with their lively song and traditional Carnaval dancing. Students from the Ambergris Caye Elementary also joined in the fun with their own comparsa. More painting and dancing continue until Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Enjoy the pictures and videos that Ambergris Today has prepared.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

#430998 - 02/21/12 10:19 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
Judyann H. Offline
I'm really enjoying this thread....Please keep posting about Carnaval.....
My friends call me Judyann


#431085 - 02/22/12 09:07 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Vandalism or Just Good, Traditional Fun? Carnaval In San Pedro, Belize

Yesterday, I posted the fun side of Carnaval.

But a local businessman posted something this morning that made me go out and take a second look. He wrote (allow me to paraphrase a bit): "Carnaval...promotes the destruction and defacing of private property and makes our town look like a dump" and "Anyone who is for the continuation of this vandalism is simply not affected by the vandalism of their property. I would be happy to come over to your house and pour 5 gallons of paint in your yard and your vehicles..." and "hanging people in the town square was also something people did some time ago and yet most civil societies have decided that it now makes no sense".

When I was out Sunday night there were certainly not police or parents supervising any of the painting. Many business owners and even the town put up plastic tarps to protect their property from paint and eggs. But was it enough? Is this teaching kids that defacing property is "something fun" and should have no consequences?

Here are the pictures that I took this morning. This is what is left over from days one and two...day three (today) is just getting started and day three is usually the one that brings the most paint.

Should this holiday practise continue? Is it a charming island tradition or just destruction? You be the judge.

The once pretty hand painted wall around the RC School.

Heritage Banks steps are a total mess.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more excellent photos on San Pedro Scoop

#431086 - 02/22/12 09:11 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Carnaval 2012 Day 2: A Whole "Lotta" Painting

If there is any indication of how crazy Carnaval will be tonight, it has to be the crazy amount of painting that was taking place yesterday, the second day of the San Pedro Carnaval Festivities. Herds of Carnaval revelers took to the street to enjoy painting each other and there was paint and eggs flying all around the place. What was great to see last night was the amount of Comparsas that took to street dancing; there were actually seven groups that livened up the town with their great musical compositions and dance routines.

Lots of preparations take place to organize a Comparsa – there is the writing of the lyrics, composing the songs, getting the costumes ready and then rehearsals. In the end, all the groups put on a fantastic show for everybody to enjoy during Carnaval. Keep on enjoying San Pedro’s Carnaval Festivities on this the last day of painting and dancing.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more excellent photos in the Ambergris Today

#431087 - 02/22/12 09:13 AM Re: Getting Ready for Carnaval [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Vive Y Goze La Tradicion – San Pedro Carnaval 2012

The annual celebration of San Juan Carnaval, under the theme “Vive y Goze la Tradicion”, commenced on Saturday night, February 18th. The festival commenced with a block party at Central park with various dance presentations by the San Pedro Dance Company. Following the dance presentations, it was time for the crowning of Miss Carnaval 2012-2013.

With initially three young ladies vying for the title – the competition was cut when two stepped down, leaving one individual representing. Shortly after 9PM, reigning Miss Carnaval 2011-2012, Miss Ileny Aguilar, took to the stage for the official crowning of Miss Carnaval 2012-2013, Miss Miriam Rodriguez.

Bayside Bar and Gril - Best Decorated Booth at Carnaval 2012 As part of the block party celebration, booths also competed for three categories: best decorated, best carnaval platter and best carnaval drink. In the category for the best decorated booth; Bayside Bar and Grill took the prize, with their carnaval theme and colorful decorations. Best Carnaval platter went to the Blue Hole Restaurant for their Pork Pibil and best carnaval drink went to Nicti-Ha, with their concoction, dubbed the “Blue Sacrifice”, a delicious combination of Vodka, lime, sugar and Gatorade.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more excellent photos in the San Pedro Sun

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