Carnival, or ‘The Real Mas’, is a pre-Lenten festival, and usually falls in February or March each year.
It is unquestionably the most festive season in Dominica.
It is hard to miss the fervour of the people’s loyalty to their favourite calypsonian or pageant during the preceding months of the Calypso Final and the National Queen Show.
Dominica’s carnival celebration is a unique and very special kind of carnival in the region’s calendar of carnivals.
Dubbed the Caribbean’s Most Original Carnival, Mas Domnik features much of the carnival or masquerade forms which pre-dates the modern day carnival celebrations in the Caribbean.
The focus of the celebrations is on showcasing of the island’s unique costumes, which reflecting the strong African presence and influence in the masquerade forms. These include costumes such as sensay, band mauve, black devil, and other forms made popular over decades of carnival celebrations here.
Dominica’s carnival is also the celebration of the African drum or lapo kabwit drums, the catchy carnival songs referred to as chante mas which is captured by our calypsonians and other music makers, nightly carnival “practices” throughout the island for several weeks before the official carnival days, and the merry making and jump-up of carnival Monday and Tuesday. These are the elements of Mas Domnik and what helps to make it, the most Original Carnival.
Mas Domnik is the only carnival that attempts to recapture the traditional forms, and reincorporate them into forms that are lively and exciting spectacles for locals and visitors.
In today’s carnival celebrations, the programme contains a mixture of the exciting and original forms of our carnival traditions, and the new, colourful and entertaining samplings of Mas Domnik.
The celebrations are not complete without the weekly calypso tents, a number of beauty pageants particularly the Miss Dominica Queen Show, sensay and ole mas festivities, steel band music, the calypso monarch competitions which climax on the final Saturday, and of-course, the best of them all, two full days of street jump-up and partying on Carnival Monday and Tuesday 15th and 16th February 2010.
This brings out the fun, the colour and gaiety.