Caribbean Carnival spirit comes to the island of Dominica this February with Mas Domnik 2007 ‘The Real Mas’.
The annual carnival officially started in January but truly kicks-off in February culminating on with Jump Up – the National Traditional Carnival Street Party on 19 February 2007 and island wide celebrations on Carnival Tuesday, on the 20 February 2007.
Carnival (or Masquerade as it can be referred to) is strongly an Afro-French festival. The festival is rooted in the masquerade in which revellers on the streets wore masks to conceal their identity. The African love of colour, costumes, masks and the rhythm of the drumbeat predominantly influence masquerade.
During Carnival, flamboyant shows, dance, drumming competitions and pageantry take place across the island throughout the month. The island comes alive with frenetic activity, from the crowning of Miss Dominica and the Calypso Monarch to awarding the best costume band.
On 21st February 2007 Tewe Vaval is celebrated in the Carib territory and in Dublanc (in the islands north west). This event is held on the afternoon of Ash Wednesday, to symbolically bury or burnt the spirit of Carnival. An effigy of Vaval (the symbolic spirit of the carnival) is burnt at sunset, marking the end of the revelry and the beginning of Lent.
Known as ‘The Nature Island’ and located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean, the independent nation of Dominica (pronounced “Dom-in-eek-a”) is the largest and most mountainous of the Windward Islands, encompassing an area of nearly 290 square miles. Of volcanic origins with mountains reaching heights of nearly 5,000 feet, rainforests that are considered among the last true oceanic rainforests in the world, more than 365 rivers, waterfalls, boiling lakes and pristine coral reefs, Dominica’s natural diversity is truly unique.
Dominica is also home to the last remaining settlement of the Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean – The Carib Indians. A place where man and nature live in harmony, adventurers and nature lovers alike will revel in the Island’s eco-tourism options which include scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking/trekking, whale, dolphin and bird watching, sailing and fishing.
Dominica continues to be recognised for its attributes and sustainable tourism efforts, including being the first country in the world to receive Benchmarking designation from the prestigious eco-tourism organization Green Globe 21 and ranking as the only Caribbean destination in the top five happiest countries on earth in the Happy Planet Index (compiled by Britainĺs New Economics Foundation).