Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Carnival 2017 - Martinique

February 27 - March 1 2017
Delayed posting - Hey,we have been busy doing....stuff.
Carnival mas headed our way on the" road"

Carnival on each island is very different from the next island.  They each have their own traditions and feel.  Each one fascinating, entertaining and fun.
Mas band

This year we did Carnival in Sainte Anne Martinique, a small resort village on the southwest corner of Martinique.
Big Truck - for Sainte Anne that is

Rockin' the speakers Sainte Anne style

Two years ago we did Carnival in Fort de France Martinique.  It was fun and crazy.  Last year was Carnival in Trinidad - the mother of ALL Carnivals in the eastern Caribbean!
Lovely kids Carnival costumes

More kids costumes

Carnival in Sainte Anne has a low key feel.  After Trinidad last year, that was perfect for us.  The "road" (parade route) was a loop around the two main streets of Sainte Anne.  There were two "Big Trucks" - one with speakers and other one.  There were two local bands.  One was dominated with drums and the other brass.    

Annika, Sabrina, Stephen, Tom Carnival ready - Pic by Bruce Amlicke

LOVED, loved, loved this lady.  I don't know what it all meant but she was my fav

We learned two years ago at the Fort de France carnival that here on Martinique, the crowds dress up as much or MORE than than the people "playing mas" (parading).  This was also true in Sainte Anne this year.  In fact, you looked a little weird if you weren't at least dressed in the Carnival colors of the day.
Whole families "playing mas"

There are four days of celebrations at Carnival in Martinique.  Each day has a theme and colors.  The crowds dress up in those themes and colors.  When the parade kicks off each afternoon/evening, families and kids dominate.
Mas band again - different day, different theme and colors

As the sun set, the kids grew tired of "chipping" and more and more adults came out to "play mas".  Each time they looped around, more and more people fell in behind the "Big Trucks" and two bands.
Our safe spot on the side street

Carnival limin' between the "road" loops

We found a local spot - a little cafe that takes up a side street each evening.  It was between the two streets that made up the "road" (parade route) loop - Out of the way, refreshments and a toilet - PERFECT spot to people watch Carnival.
Donald and Melania

There were many comical, funny characters "playing mas."
Carnival drum majors

One couple quickly became my favorite.  The first night, the woman was dressed as some sort of winner of a Sardine beauty contest - That is the best I can come up with as it was all in French but it was an absolute hoot.  Best of all, you could tell she and her friends were having a ball.
Another favorite - again, unsure of the whole clothespin thing but so what -still a hoot!
Her husband got into Carnival as well, dressing up each night.  Again, I am not sure of their exact themes but who cares.  It was obvious that they were having a good time "playing mas" and living life to the fullest!  I loved them!
My favorite lady again
Me and the Sardine Queen??? Pic by Bruce Amlicke

Actually, it seemed everyone was having a good time.  As I said, here in Martinique, the crowd seems to get more involved than other island Carnivals we've seen.

Carnival each evening wound down "officially" around 22:00- 23:00.  However, we could hear Carnival music and fun going late into the evening from sv Honey Ryder.  But of course, this is a Caribbean - late nights and loud music are standard, Carnival or no Carnival!
The other mas band

Our gang ordering late night pizza - post Carnival

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