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 2018

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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.

Carnival Dates

  • 2017: 27th & 28th February
  • 2018: 12th & 13th February
  • 2019: 4th & 5th March
  • 2020: 24th & 25th February

CARNIVAL GUIDE

Learn the best way to participate in Carnival
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CALENDAR

Check out the Carnival Schedule of Events
See the Schedule!

LIVE UPDATES

Visit our Facebook page for live photos of Carnival 2017: Feb 27th & 28th
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PAST WINNERS

See the winners of past Carnival Competitions
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Traditional Mas: Dominica Style

Stiltwalkers - Bwa Bwa

Where did the name Sensay come from? What’s a Pappy Show Wedding?

Find out the history behind Dominica’s Carnival traditions and learn about the Carnival Costumes you will see in Dominica during Mas Domnik, Dominica’s Carnival… read more

Read more

 Carnival Season Activities and Events


 Here you can read more about the Carnival activities that take place in Dominica each year.

 Click here for our Mas Domnik 2017 Calendar of Activities

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.

Read more about Traditional Carnival here.

Calypso Shows

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 Strip (Lalay Coco). 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.

Rotary’s Souse & Punch

Rotary’s Souse & Punch February 26th 2017

Pageants

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!

Street Jump-up

Carnival Monday

Carnival Monday

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, Darkies, Black Devils, Ban Mouve, etc.) and School Bands take to the streets. (***Those wearing Sensay costumes need to register at DFC (Dominica Festivals Committee).
  • 2pm to 10 pm T-Shirt Bands with Hifi.

Carnival Tuesday

Carnival Tuesday

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…

Typical Order of the Carnival Season

  1. Opening Parade
  2. Princess Show
  3. The Stardom Tent
  4. Showdown Mas Camp
  5. The National Queen Show
  6. Teenage Pageant
  7. Lagoon Street Jam
  8. Stardom “King of the Tent”
  9. Showdown Mas Camp “Champ of the Camp”
  10. National Calypso Show
  11. Mini Carnival – Bord La Mer
  12. Kiddies Carnival
  13. Rotary’s Souse & Punch
  14. Carnival Street Parade & Jump Up
  15. Vaval

Recommended Reading

The Dominica Story:

A History of the Island

by Dr. Lennox Honychurch

Buy on Amazon

Dominica: Isle of Adventure

by Dr. Lennox Honychurch (Macmillan Caribbean Guides)

Buy on Amazon

Archaeology of Dominica

By Dr. Lennox Honychurch

Buy on Visit-Dominica.com