Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Many of the Caribbean islands celebrate Carnival, and we were lucky to be on Guadeloupe for the event.  Some islands have moved the festivities from the traditional time just before Lent to other dates, often in the summer.  But Guadeloupe has kept the traditional dates.

We didn't have access to a schedule of events, so being in the right place at the right time was a bit hit-or-miss.  But we saw (and heard!) bands, and marchers/dancers, and lots of bright costumes.

It was interesting to compare the festivities here to those for Fassnacht in Lucerne.  The bands have fewer horns and a lot more drums.  Costumes are more traditional and less fanciful, though we did see some roving bands of young people dressed in very fantastic fashion.  We attended the parade in Basseterre, which is the capital of Guadeloupe.  It was really a quite small parade compared to what we are used to in Lucerne.  We aren't sure whether there was a bigger parade that we missed, or whether the big event was the next day in Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe's biggest city.

One interesting thing about Guadeloupe is the great fondness for Madras plaids.  You see them everywhere, in clothing, tablecloths in restaurants, hats.  Very colorful and fun.

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