Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carnaval in the Caribbean

This week is Carnaval in Limón, Costa Rica. Limón, which is a port town on the central Caribbean coast, is famous for having the largest Carnaval celebration in all of Costa Rica. It's a cultural celebration that has also become a major tourist spectacle, attracting thousands of visitors from across Costa Rica and abroad.

The week-long festival which began last Wednesday celebrates La Día de las Culturas, or the Day of Cultures. This makes its setting in Limón fitting, since the Caribbean coast is a melting pot of Spanish-Costa Rican, African and Caribbean Culture.

Leading the festivities are the comparsas, or the traditional dance groups. The term comparsas applies to any traditional dance group in any Latino part of the world, but at the Limón Carnaval the comparsas are truly the spirit of the Caribbean city during the festival celebrations.

Tico Comparsas spend the entire year leading up to Carnaval carefully combining Africa, Caribbean and Costa Rican motifs into their dances, costumes and music. They will be center stage on Saturday, when Limón Carnaval culminates with a street party un-matched anywhere in Costa Rica.

 Check out the video above to watch some comparsas in action!

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