Carnaval is celebrated in many countries around the world, but here’s the story about how it began in Aruba.
Carnival was born in 1954 as a series of small street festivals. The Tivoli Club, Aruba’s oldest private social club, was the first to have a pre-Lenten celebration in Oranjestad in February 1944. The Allied victory of World War II was commemorated by a large parade in San Nicolas, comprised largely of Caribbean-English immigrants who came to Aruba to work at the Lago Oil Refinery. The first steel and brass bands debuted a few years later, and small parades sprouted here and there, which later on became the Carnaval that we know and love today.
Besides the Lighting Parade, thousands of participants and spectators enjoy Children’s Parades, the Jouvert Morning Pajama Party, the Grand Carnival Parade in San Nicolas, and the exciting finale—the Grand Carnival Parade in Oranjestad. The midnight burning of King Momo, a life-size effigy, signals the end of the Aruba Carnival season. This tradition symbolizes the slumber of the spirit of carnaval, who will rise again when the next season (and a whole new round of celebrating) begins. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many measures taken, Aruba has not been able to celebrate Carnaval for almost 2 consecutive years, however for quite some time now Aruba has been on a steady road to normality, bringing us to where we are today with all measures eliminated. Aruba has set in motion the Exit Strategy to return back to normality and part of this includes that all events and activities that were organized before the coronavirus pandemic started, will be organized once again.
National Light Parade 2022
Aruba will celebrate Carnival on the 26th of February with a National Light Parade. It is organized by CCDN, to start getting accustomed to normality again while also celebrating our culture.
The theme of this parade will be the 4 colors of the Aruban flag, which are red, yellow, white and blue. There will be 6 groups participating in our National Light Parade, which are Empire, Majestic, Infinity, Dushi, Pink for Life and Royal Carnival Group. There will be renowned local bands performing like D’licious, NBO, Upgrade Music & Jeon, Youth Xtreme, Le Groove and Buleria.
The parade will be from 8pm to 2am, starting at Aruba Entertainment Center in Dakota, goes thru Vondellaan, L.G. Smith Boulevard and finish at the old department of infrastructure (DOW) building near Citgo Boulevard.
We hope to see you there!