The season of carnivals in the Dominican Republic.
Photos from the carnival in costumes of devils in the town of La VEGA and the capital Santo Domingo.
Dominican carnival is a colourful spectacle, full of colour and traditions, inspiring music and dancing. The use of carnival masks symbolizes the spiritual, supernatural and unknown to the world of creatures that existed before the beginning of world history.
African tribes and American Indians, like other peoples, have used masks to draw attention to themselves more spiritual, higher beings, or, conversely, to hide from him. The Indians Tainos of the island and the natives near lying Islands had their own festival before the arrival of the Spaniards. Their festival was called Areitos. Usually Areitos were held during the harvest and sowing. The Indians used tattoo, painted body, used the beads and masks during their festivals.
Conquistadors and African slaves brought with them their traditions and holidays. Africans brought their own festivals and national musical instruments, dancing and singing. They brought a bit of humor, laughing at him and his hard life. The holidays were a way for at least a little time to get rid of heavy bondage.
With the arrival of Columbus, the Europeans brought to the island by the Catholic religion. Since the carnival was “pagan”, the Spaniards added religion to the holiday. They wanted to let people let off steam at parties. Even though they said that the carnival is a feast for the local Indians and slaves, the Spaniards themselves enjoy taking part in it. To smooth spiritual differences, they added a religious element to the holiday.
Carnival is celebrated in Santo Domingo since the mid 1500’s, and even celebrated before. On the ruins of old La Vega found evidence of the celebration of carnival earlier than in the capital of Santo Domingo. In ancient La Vega people made masks of the Moors and Christians. By the end of the 1700s, the carnival becomes one of the main holidays of the country. After the Dominicans gained their independence on February 27, 1844, the carnival has become a part of people’s memory about the event. The celebration of carnival and independence day combined in one holiday and makes the whole February month of joy and pleasure.
The carnival takes place all over the country, but each city has its own version of this tradition. Each city adds its own easy talent to the General merriment, whether the masks, the costumes, the music, or methods of celebration. Carnival is a family holiday. Often it involves groups, families, clubs or companies.
Of all creatures and masks that appear at the carnival, perhaps the most famous is Diabolos Cojuelos – Lame demons. On giving this demon was exiled to earth for their clownish antics. When he fell, he injured his leg. These demons – horned creatures with lots of teeth. This is a very complex masks. All versions of this demon is different. In addition to them in the carnival involves people with decorated paper bodies. Many masks with humor symbolize opposites, the world of “upside down”. Men dress up as women. Bulls win bullfighters. Around the complete opposite of what you would expect. It’s interesting and funny to watch. Many of the costumes represent the conquistadors and oppressors of the island – Europeans. Suits is a mixture of all cultures, beliefs, traditions, people and ideas combined in one bright performance. They ogrezeni only by the imagination of their creators.
Carnival is a very competitive theatrical performance. Every participant is fighting for prizes in various categories. People can go a whole year to make their costumes to participate in the carnival and win. Costume design and presentation of characters come together to assess the best bands in the carnival. Celebrations in the capital authorize not more than 150 groups from each region. Here are the winners of the regional parades combined in the biggest competition. In the parade on the promenade (Malecon) of the capital city may participate up to 50,000 costumes, bombarded 1.5 million spectators wishing to take part in the colorful parade. The culmination of the parade is the annual election of the King of Carnival.
The most popular carnival city of La VEGA. Usually it is a quiet town with a small number of tourists. During carnival thousands of tourists come here to watch colorful parades, held every weekend in February.
Among all this loud and colorful bustle always need to be ready. Demons armed with inflated bubbles and whip. These balls were traditionally made from cow or pig bubbles and inflated with air. Today they are made of rubber and rubber. They hit people who get in the way of demons. Usually aim for the lower body, but the crowd can get anywhere. Initially, the bubbles were used for crowd control, so it was not difficult to pass costumed characters. They say that if you hit the demon, it will bring great luck. But best to avoid if possible. Often the attacks are very strong and can leave large bruises. Get the soft spot unpleasant, but it is an essential part of carnival.
No matter what city you go to see the carnival. Carnival is a fusion of Dominican style, religion and culture. Great blend of colors, exciting music and wild dancing. Dressed devils take to the streets, shaking their weapons and whips. People make fun and enjoy.