If you are looking for a different kind of Carnival experience then you may want to consider visiting the island of Cozumel.ÊOne of the most authentic and popular Carnival celebrations in the Mexican Caribbean, Cozumel’s family-friendly party offers more than entertaining parades and dances.ÊIt is a festival, rich in culture, that reflects the spirit of the island.For nearly 100 years, Cozumel has commemorated this pre-lenten celebration and kept up the unique traditions of the past. The island’s residents, known affectionately as “Cozumeleños,” use Carnival as a way to remember, honour and share their rich and diverse past with people from other cultures.
Everyone from children to grandparents fill the streets throughout the night, bringing Carnival to life in an exciting explosion of color and music. New and modern-day themes and music are blended with traditional and folkloric pasts to create Cozumel’s own unique rhythm.
During the five-day event, there is an energy that flows throughout the island and colours the streets and the homes surrounding its main square. Locals and visitors of every age come together to enjoy the festivities, that include floats, and colourful parades, nightly street fairs with traditional foods and concerts, daily musical performances and dancing through the streets of downtown San Miguel.ÊThe highlight of the week is the Comparsas Ball, featuring the crowning of the emperor and empress as well as the king and queen of Carnival, and an intense group dance competition.
“Carnival is one of Cozumel’s grandest celebrations. Families and businesses prepare many months in advance for the parades and dance competitions,” said Fernando Ferráez, a 20-year Carnaval expert planner and historian, as well as the official voice of Carnival.Ê “It’s a wonderful time for visitors to come to Cozumel. They will not only have the opportunity to experience the color, culture and charm of Carnival but of the island itself.”
Cozumel’s family-friendly Carnival has a children’s parade with floats, music and dancing. Many additional elements add to the excitement of Carnival. A variety of costumed characters, such as Harlequins, “Negritos,” “Mestizos,” rumba dancers, Spaniards, gypsy women, fairies, princesses, bullfighters, and kings and queens, fill the streets of San Miguel.
The Cozumeleños use of masks and costumes allow for everyone to enjoy the festivities and breakdown the barriers of social class, language and cultures that exist in everyday life. The parades of Carnival consist of magnificent dance groups that make the scene an extraordinary display. These parades continue to grow each year with the addition of more floats and participants in their native costumes and masks.
Traditionally held prior to Lent, next year Cozumel will celebrate Carnival Feb. 12 - 16, 2005, because of the State Constitutional Elections taking place earlier that month.