Dominica’s Carnival – The Real Mas!
Mas Domnik is Dominica’s Carnival,known as the ‘Real Mas’ because it holds true to Carnival traditions of the past. Held at the traditional pre-Lenten time, is a feast of calypso music, Carnival competitions and activities all leading up to two exciting days of street jump-up. About a month prior to the festivities, Carnival is formally opened with an official Opening Parade and ceremony which highlights the celebrations to come.
Carnival 2017: Jump-Up dates are February 27th & 28th 2017
Opening Parade & Official Ceremony: Saturday, February 4th 2017 in Roseau
Mas Domnik! Carnival 2017
Carnival takes place on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. In the months leading up to Carnival, there are Calypso shows, village feasts and pageants. Traditionally Monday and Tuesday are the two final days of celebration before the quiet and reflective Lenten period.
- 2017: 27th & 28th February
- 2018: 12th & 13th February
- 2019: 4th & 5th March
- 2020: 24th & 25th February
Traditional Mas: Dominica Style
Carnival in Dominica has come a long way since the tradition of wild costume festivals, merrymaking and pre-Lenten feasting first started by the Catholic Europeans in the late 1700’s.
Following the abolition of slavery and the slave trade, the freed slaves celebrated by engaging in masquerade, dancing and singing in the streets and embracing carnival as an expression of their new found freedom.
Here are some of the traditional Carnival Costumes you will see in Dominica… read more
Carnival Season Activities and Events
Official Carnival Opening Parade & Ceremony
February 4th 2017
This event kicks off Carnival. The Queen Contestants, Calypsonians, Princess Show Contestants, the most popular bands, people in sensay costumes, the ‘Blackies’, stilt walkers (moko jumbies), cheerleaders, and many more people parade through the streets in a kaleidoscope of colours, encouraged by a huge crowd of on-lookers.
The Stardom Calypso Tent
The Stardom Calypso Tent Every Wednesday from January 18th 2017 Commonly called “Stardom,” this event is held every Wednesday before Carnival at the Sisserou Hotel in Castle Comfort. It is a Calypso Show Series by which, through a method of elimination that lasts for weeks, the Calypsonians to participate in the Calypso Monarch Competition are chosen. The serious calypso commentary and mix of humour and local scandal makes the tent a favorite among locals. The Stardom “King of the Tent” takes place the last Wednesday before Carnival weekend.
Showdown Mas Camp
Showdown Mas Camp Every Friday from January 13th 2017 Showdown Mas Camp is another Calypso tent. Showdown Calypsonians perform on Friday nights before Carnival at Harlem Plaza, Newtown. Their “Champ of the Camp” Competition is typically held the Thursday night before Carnival Monday. Showdown Mas Camp ‘Champ of the Camp’ February 17th 2017.
Fetes & Activites
Lagoon Heritage Festival
Lagoon Heritage Festival February 20th 2017 This one is a definite favorite. It’s another pre-taste for the real thing: Calypso, Bouyon Music, lots of people and Kubuli would accurately describe this jam. Like the other activities, this is open to everyone because Carnival in Dominica is a time when all differences are put aside.
Panorama by de Bay
Panorama by de Bay February 23rd 2017 Bayfront, Roseau from 2.30 to 8 pm
Rotary’s Souse & Punch
Rotary’s Souse & Punch February 26th 2017 Usually held in Layou at Rhythms on the River. from 12 pm – 9 pm.
Carnival Princess Show
Princess Show February 12th 2017 Held in the weeks before Carnival, the princess show features young girls from around the island, displaying their talents in order to win the title of Carnival Princess.
Carnival Teenage Pageant
Teenage Pageant February 19th 2017 Featuring young ladies from secondary schools all over the island with the hopes of becoming Miss Carnival Teen Dominica.
Carnival Mothers Queen Show
Carnival Mothers Queen Show February 18th 2017 This pageant is for the mature ladies to show their talents and strive to win the Carnival Mothers crown.
The National Queen Show
The National Queen Show February 24th 2017 Several intelligent beauties from around the island vie for the title of Miss Dominica. Commonly called “Queen Show,” this is always very, very well attended. Held in Festival City, we all look forward to this one!
February 27th 2017
- J’Ouvert from 4am to 6am with Lapo Kabwit, then 6 am to 8 am with Hifi Bands. All in Roseau.
- 10 am to 12 Noon – Traditional Old Mas Costume bands (Sensay, Darkkies, Black Devils, Ban Mouve, etc.) and School Bands take to the streets.
- 2pm to 10 pm T-Shirt Bands with Hifi.
February 28th 2017
10 am – The brand new Carnival King & Queen are introduced. Traditional Costume Bands, Queen Contestants and other costume bands hit the road as well. Listen carefully for the Calypso song that is played most often because it will win the title Road March Song.
Music, culture, people and wild celebration merge to form what we know as Carnival. It is the most festive time of the year where there are no enemies, where everyone comes together to have fun. So let loose, make new friends and enjoy! These parades are held in Roseau, but many other villages have small parades.
Vaval (Wednesday after Carnival)
Vaval (Wednesday after Carnival)
March 1st 2017
In certain places such as the west-coast village of Dublanc and in the Kalinago (Carib) Territory, there is one final event to Carnival – the Ash Wednesday burying (or burning) of the ‘spirit’ of Carnival and the beginning of Lent. Read more…
There are no upcoming events at this time.
- Opening Parade
- Princess Show
- The Stardom Tent
- Showdown Mas Camp
- The National Queen Show
- Teenage Pageant
- Lagoon Street Jam
- Stardom “King of the Tent”
- Showdown Mas Camp “Champ of the Camp”
- National Calypso Show
- Mini Carnival – Bord La Mer
- Kiddies Carnival
- Rotary’s Souse & Punch
- Carnival Street Parade & Jump Up