Yestersay we experienced carnival. And what an experience it was!
After checking into our hostel and a few hours spent pouring over all the local stalls we decided to try out the cinema cafe. And it was the coolest cafe I’ve ever been to. As hard as it is to imagine in the cold back in England…. a dark and airconned room with bean bags and popcorn was seriously the best call of the day! We watched the grand Budapest hotel and stuffed ourselves (mainly me) with popcorn. 5 dollars for the biggest tub you’ve ever seen. I was so happy!
Back in the blistering heat we watched the carnival start to kick off from the balcony of the hostel. In bocas the tradition for carnival is for the men to dress up as diablos (devils) and parade the streets looking for other men to challenge them with sticks which they then whip. Boys as young as 8 start off as red devils and can add a bit of black to their costume every year for 12 years. After this they start to add bits of white. The symbolism behind the tradition is that they are banishing the evil out of their lives. The costumes are all handmade by the locals and are extremely scary looking… hence the lack of photos.. I didn’t stray from the balcony while they were about!
After the diablos had been banished for the day, Carnival Queens were crowned. Dancing girls (One as young as 3!)
paraded the street followed by their class mates playing local instruments and drums. My favourite drum set was attached to the wheels off a wheelie chair.
There were a local dance group on stage who were brilliant and then kids were asked to come up on stage for dance compititions. Our fav was a little tubby boy who couldn’t dance for toffee but was giving it such a go. It was the funniest, most adorable thing I’ve seen in a while! It was then the adults turn to humiliate themselves and the English contestant did just that. With dance moves that looked more like he was playing football it looked like something out of the inbetweeners.
This was then followed by a local band with a terrible singer so we decided to call it a night!