Carnival in Guadeloupe

French Antilles, Guadeloupe, dancer in carnival outfit
Photographer: Sylvain Grandadam

The colorful Carnival on Guadeloupe lasts for five days. The largest parades of the Carnival take place on Shrove Sunday, Tuesday’s Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. Shrove Sunday begins with parades, dancing, costumes, masquerades and street parties. On Shrove Tuesday, pajama clad masqueraders dance throughout the day. Guadeloupe’s Carnival is unique in that it finishes on Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday revelers dress up in black and white as he and she wolves and take to the streets. The Carnival comes to a close in the evening, with the cremation of King Vaval.

Midway between Carnival and Easter Sunday, Carnival is revived for one day at Mid-Lent Thursday, where revelers, depicting themselves as devils, dress up in red and black costumes.

The carnival celebrations are held in every town and village, but the largest celebrations happen in Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre.

Find out more about Carnival in Guadeloupe here.


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