the contagious music will make you move, as you feel the energy and good spirits fill the air.
What started as a tradition, centuries ago in Europe where followers of Catholic religion held a costumed feast called cahneeval (which literally meant ‘farewell to flesh or meat’) before Lent started, that evolved throughout the ages. The cultural roots of the festival go even deeper in the Caribbean. Here the European traditions melted with African traditions. Masks or costumes representing certain ideas or spiritual forces, and feathers as symbols of our ability as humans to rise above problems, pains, illness and hardships. This combined with the rhythms and tempos of the drums/ music helped a person to transform and grow spiritually.
To this day, St. Maarten Carnival days are moments of pure joy, upbeat tempos, delicious food & tropical drinks. Where everyone meets to celebrate in good spirits, it allows people to come together from all different backgrounds and cultures, and have the time of their life.
The Dutch side of St. Maarten celebrated the first carnival on November 11 in 1969, but in the 1970’s, as an initiative by the Oranje Committee to create a fete for various holidays, it was moved to April, to commemorate the birthday of the then Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, which was on April 30th. While the French side maintains the traditional time just before Lent.
This year St. Maarten Carnival will return and take to the streets, after a hiatus of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Carnival 2022 will take place in a span of 2+ weeks, starting on April 16 and closing on May 3 with the traditional burning of King Momo.
Everyone should visit St. Maarten Carnival at least once in their lives! I would definitely encourage and recommend traveling to St. Maarten during April to immerse yourself in the freeing experience, one that all our ancestors created to rise and enjoy this grand celebration of life! Come join us on St. Maarten to feast and revel during one of the many shows, such as Flag Fest on April 23
and Night of the Hitmakers on April 30th
But remember, Covid protocols are place, make sure before you travel or plan to attend events, you know the entry requirements.