Carnival Monday in Dominica starts very early. I could hear the lapo kabwit (goat skin drum) band passing through Newtown en route to Roseau in the cool pre-dawn hours as I lay snuggled up in my warm bed. This year, I decided to pass on J’ouvert ,Mas Domnik’s pre-daybreak street-jump-up. Instead, I drove into the city for the 11 a.m. start of what is considered the “traditional” parade festivities on the streets. As well, as number of schools would be displaying their costumes and floats with special themes for this celebratory occasion.
Despite some drizzle, the skies were mainly clear, although perhaps a little grey from time to time. The dull weather provided the perfect backdrop for the spectacular costumes, floats and revellers who took to the streets in festive style and good cheer. Here are some photos that I believe speak volumes about the wonderful atmosphere at the Carnival Monday 2013 Parade in Roseau.
Sensays of all kinds and designs were out in full force. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the deaths of 3 men whose sensay costumes caught fire on the parade route. The bands honoured their memory by participating in large numbers.
Schools were well represented in the Carnival Monday parade. I was very impressed with the creativity in the design of their costumes and floats. I enjoyed watching the students, teachers and parents ‘playing mas‘ together! At about 1 p.m., the parade began to wind down. It was time for lunch. And then hundreds of people would come back on the streets by mid-afternoon as members of different ‘T-Shirt’ bands. They would jump-up to the latest calypsos and other new carnival tunes with their favourite local group(set up on hi-fi trucks) until about 10 p.m. I opted out of this form of fun this year. But I’ll be back on the streets for the Carnival Tuesday Costume Parade tomorrow morning, with two newly arrived Canadian friends in tow!