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 2019: Jump-Up dates are march 4th & 5th 2019

Mas Domnik! Carnival 2018

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

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

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

CARNIVAL GUIDE

Learn the best way to participate in Carnival

LIVE UPDATES

Visit our Facebook page for live photos of Carnival 2018 on Feb 12th & 13th

PAST WINNERS

See the winners of past Carnival Competitions

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

 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 2018 Calendar of Activities *

Below are the activities that usually occur during Carnival in Dominica.

Official Carnival Opening Parade & Ceremony

Late January/Early February

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 during the Carnival Season 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 during Carnival Season 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.’ 

Fetes & Activites

Lagoon Heritage Festival

Lagoon Heritage Festival
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  Held on the Bayfront, Roseau.

Rotary’s Souse & Punch

Rotary’s Souse & Punch
Hosted by the Rotary Club, this annual tradition is a favourite!

Pageants

Carnival Princess Show

Princess Show
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
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 
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
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 12th 2018

  • 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 13th 2018

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)

February 14 2018

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

Three Nights Later, The Soukouyan on the Roof and Other Stories

by Roy Sanford

Buy on Amazon