There’s a feeling I get every time I step foot in Dominican Republic. It’s a little warmth in my belly, and a sparkle in my eye. Sure, I’m biased because Dominican is my blood, but it’s not just me who would admit that Dominicans are some of the nicest people in the world. If you’re having a bad day, there’s always a smile, an ice cold Presidente, and a little bachata to brighten your mood.
Just when you think there isn’t any more happy to go around, this little time in February roles around and the island errupts into a huge party. Guys, that’s a whole other whirlwind. It’s this beautiful flurry of glitter, feathers, and colors in all shades of the rainbow. Dominicans seem to come together during this time just to bring that little extra light to the world; that little extra zazz to their island. This year was extra special because Santo Domingo celebrated their 500th year of caranaval festivities.
The things that fascinates me the most, and you might know this already if you’re following along with Portraits Around the World, are the personalities you see lining the streets of Carnaval in Dominican Republic. They’re eclectic, obscure, and just plain real . Well, I mean, besides the elaborate costumes, mirrors, masks, and makeup… but I really think something about these disguises makes people open up and have the time of their lives. Take a look at some of the characters that made an appearance at this years carnaval.
There’s the beauty queens and the kings of the parade
These fearsome devils who are up to no good
Dancers and Musicians Keeping Culture Alive
These little ones having the time of their lives
Smiling Faces on the Sidelines
And of course, this guy, who thinks he’s pretty clever
The best places to celebrate Carnaval in Dominican Republic:
1. Santo Domingo Carnival along Maximo Gomez Avenue (In the city)
2. La Vega (Where you can see the original diablo or devil characters)
3. Santiago (Known as Lechones)
If you’re interested in the history of the carnival, you can read all about it on Dominican Republic’s official tourism page.