Tuesday, February 9, 2016

FTV The Grand Parade in Oranjestad

On Sunday afternoon many cadets went to the city of Oranjestad to see a huge parade. The largest carnival parade is the Grand Parade through Oranjestad, held on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
Carnival is a month-long celebration with festive street parties known as “jump-ups” and spectacular parades.

 This Carnival is not your average carnival, it a giant celebration that is basically a party in the street with huge parades. Unlike the US where we have floats and different cars and bands, in this parade there were huge semi-trucks that had no sides carrying floats and bands and singers everywhere. People in amazing costumes and dancers lined the route of the parade. The central figure of Carnival in Aruba is the Queen. The role of the Carnival Queen is to lead all the street parades and to make a public appearance that promotes Carnival.

Carnival Queen
Carnival was introduced on Aruba in the 1930s by Caribbean immigrants, and has become the most popular festival for the entire population. The origins of Aruba Carnival are found thousands of years ago. The word is derived from the Latin carne vale, meaning farewell to flesh, referring to the time when many Christians gave up food, drink and unacceptable behavior for Lent. Its beginnings can be traced back to the feasts of antiquity held to honor such gods as Bacchus and Saturn. Colonization introduced this phenomenon to the New World and the French brought it to the Caribbean.
The parade when on and on from about 1400 to 1900.So as you can image it was very, very long. The people of Aruba love it and lined the streets for hours. The closest thing I can compare this to is parades on July 4th in the United States. We all had an amazing time in Aruba and are looking forward to Key West.

Until then,


Aruba is part of the ABC islands located immediately to the north of Venezuela. These islands are a type of volcanic oceanic island found in a volcanic island arc. They arise from volcanoes along tectonic plate boundaries. Learn more about islands:

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