Carifiesta, the local name for the Latin American ritual of carnival or masque parade dates back to the days of slavery in the Caribbean islands. For Quebec's Caribbean community, the Carifiesta Festival is an adaptation of the traditional pre-Lenten festivities which precede the Mardi gras Carnival celebrated throughout the Caribbean. Our festival took as its model the Trinidad & Tobago carnival. With large costumes, calypso music, steelpan, and hundreds of masqueraders dressed in exotic costumes.
Over the years, the festival has adapted to include many groups of Haitian origins, with their own music and style of dress. More recently, we have been joined by some groups from the Latin community. The festival is thus more representative of the Montreal community.
The festival is characterized by shows, dances, performances featuring different types of Caribbean music-calypso, zouk, reggae, racine-as well as the vibrant music of steelbands. Colorful "bands" of brilliantly costumed performers fill the streets with joviality and dance.
Carifiesta is viewed as an affirmation of the splendor and creativity of the Caribbean community: a festival which brings joy, happiness and spirituality to both participants and the masses of people lining the streets to view the parade. Herein lays the major contributions of Quebec's Caribbean community towards the cultural aesthetic of the region. Apart from the parade, there are other events leading into Carifiesta. The Junior Carifiesta, is for children between 2 and 16 years. The King and Queen Show, where masqueraders with the most elaborate and original costumes are selected to be the king and queen of Carifiesta. The Calypso Monarch, also a key figure in the festival is chosen as well.
I don't see any listing for Montreal's Carnival called CARIFIESTA. Our carnival takes place July 7th 2007. It's going to be bigger and better than ever. Montreal's Carifiesta was once the biggest carnival in North America, now we are getting ready to take over again. Watch out!
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Note: Event dates are subject to change. Please contact the event organizer before making travel plans.
Carnival Connection: Your source for Caribbean Carnival Festival Information, including festival dates, parade information, contact information and links to official websites. Includes information about Mardi Gras, Trini-Style Carnival and other related festivals.