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Montreal Caribbean Carnival Carifiesta, Canada

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Limoux Carnival, France

 

What is the Montreal Caribbean Carnival?

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival is anannual celebration held in the city of Montreal, Canada. This event is known as Carifiesta and is a celebration that commemorates all the nationalities of the Caribbean in one big party with typical Caribbean elements. The streets are filled with a great joyful atmosphere that is accompanied by calypso, soca, dancing, costumes and rich food.

The festival emerged as a way to preserve the cultural heritage in the city of Montreal under the name Carifiesta. In this way, it satisfies the community’s need to celebrate, maintain and share the culture of Caribbean Carnival through characteristic cultural elements such as dancing, music and food. The soul of the festival is the spirit of celebration on the part of the entire Caribbean community residing in the city, who in their colorful costumes are transported back to their homelands.



The purpose of the Montreal Caribbean Carnival is to serve as a vehicle to transmit Caribbean traditions. Although the Caribbean has several nations, all with different cultures and ways of celebrating carnivals, the organizers celebrate the carnival as one nation, integrating all the cultures in one place and commemorating the rich culture found in the islands.

The event is coordinated and organized by the Caribbean Cultural Festivities Association, a non-profit organization that emerged as a need for the Caribbean people to express their traditions, culture and roots. In this way, participants have at their disposal an event that they celebrate in the streets, showing cultural presentations such as dance and music characteristic of their countries. However, the celebration does not stop there, it also features the participation of famous Canadian artists, tropical music DJ’s, trucks with large speakers where soca music and calypso music are played at full volume and the characteristic Mas del Caribe bands.

Like any other Caribbean celebration, food can never be missing. In addition, the organization also has several shops and stalls where you can purchase Caribbean art and cultural merchandise. By doing this you support the community that with so much effort manages to carry out the carnivals every year.

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival has an extensive popularity, not only for people from the Caribbean community, but also for Canadians. In fact, the event has been attended by as many ashalf a million people, making it one of the largest events of its kind in the country and in the city.

 

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival is a space that all Caribbeans in Montreal use to make their culture and traditions known

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival is a space that all Caribbeans in Montreal use to make their culture and traditions known

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When is the Montreal Caribbean Carnival?

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The Montreal Caribbean Carnival is a carnival celebration, but due to the weather conditions of the country during the first months of the year, the carnival is celebrated during the summer, as it has the optimal conditions to hold this event in the streets.

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival will take place approximately from July 8 to 10.

 

 

History of the Montreal Caribbean Carnivals

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The first Montreal Caribbean Carnival took place in the 1970s of the 20th century. At that time, the carnival had been the result of a project by the Caribbean Cultural Festivities Association or Caribbean Cultural Festivities Association (CCFA). The carnival had emerged as an instrument to promote racial harmony and preserve Caribbean cultural heritage under the name Carifiesta.

Caribbean Carnival supplied the community’s need to celebrate and share the culture of Caribbean Carnival through fine arts, street theater, artistic and musical social organization. In this way, residents with Caribbean roots could express their identity thousands of miles away from their place of origin. Since then, the carnival has counted on the participation of spectators, political personalities and artists from the Caribbean milieu.



The Carifiesta celebration has grown every year, developing and integrating new elements in each edition. In addition, the Montreal Caribbean Carnival has had an incredible participation, both from the Caribbean community, locals and visitors who come every year to be part of the festivities. The Carifiesta has had the participation of up to 500,000 people, making it one of the largest celebrations in the country and the city.

 

Where is the Montreal Caribbean Carnival

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The Carifiesta takes place in the city of Montreal, the second most populous city in Canada. Montreal is located within Quebec, which is in turn divided into 19 other administrative territories.

The city of Montreal has a total area of 431 square kilometers and is home to approximately 1,700,000 inhabitants.

 

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival is a celebration full of color and traditions

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival is a celebration full of color and traditions

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How the Montreal Caribbean Carnival is celebrated

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The Montreal Caribbean Carnival or Carifiesta is a varied celebration where you can find a lot of traditional cultural manifestations of various groups. However, it also has traditional elements of a conventional Caribbean carnival with the presence of the Mas Bands or Mas Bands. All groups and presentations are accompanied by live music or large trucks that have music for the presentation of the bands or the enjoyment of the public.

 

Children’s or Junior Carifiesta Parade

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The organization also has spaces for the enjoyment of the little ones of the city. A week before the main celebrations, a parade is held in which hundreds of children from the Caribbean community participate. Just like the official party, the little ones have characteristic costumes and disguises of the Caribbean carnival. The celebration features live entertainment and are children are accompanied by their parents or representatives.

 

Parade

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The Carifiesta parade features the participation of groupings from different Caribbean countries, some of them participate with traditional costumes or Mas Bands costumes. Likewise, the presentations feature live music trucks, DJs who play traditional music, mainly soca or calypso.

The streets of downtown Montreal are filled with hundreds of vibrant colors and extravagant costumes. Hundreds of dancers are also part of the parades, many of them performing traditional choreography to showcase their countries’ traditions, while others parade in stunning costumes, full of color and feathers that move uncontrollably with the help of music trucks.

 

Mas Bands

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TheMas Bands are one of the most important features of Caribbean carnivals. Usually, companies or companies offer costumes accompanied by entertainment services that people purchase for the parades. The costumes used in Carifiesta are similar to those of other Caribbean Carnival celebrations.

The costumes of the Bandas Mas are designed to be bold and feature bright colors, feathers and exotic headdresses. Women usually wear bikini-style outfits that are covered in brilliant, gems, beads and sequinned sequins. Men’s costumes consist of decorated and colorful shorts, combined some accessories such as necklaces, headdresses or knee pads.

The Mas Bands for the Carifiesta are:

  • Agrikol
  • Jab Amy
  • Roots Cultural
  • Delinquents
  • DJ Slim Vérité Choc
  • Desire Carnival
  • Kingdom

For the new editions, the organization of the Montreal Caribbean Carnivals is looking for new bands, so the list of groups is constantly adapting, integrating new bands each year.

J’ouvert

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The J’ouvert is one of the typical events of Caribbean celebrations and they usually happen early in the morning or overnight. This event is more than just a celebration, as its beginnings are part of theprocess of liberation and abolition of slavery. The celebration consists of a large unbridled party in the streets of the city with whistles, music and party.

In the J’ouvert it is common for people to wear large chains symbolizing the slavery era. In addition, some wear large horns and paint their bodies with oils, mud, chocolate or paint. Likewise, water and paint wars are also one of the elements that distinguish these celebrations.

Like the traditional Caribbean festivities, the Carifiesta also has its J’ouvert to pay tribute to all the people of the Caribbean community or residents who wish to be part of it. The celebration takes place during the morning to welcome the sunrise dancing and partying.

 

Jamaica Day

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Despite not being part of the direct schedule of the carnivals, usually Jamaica Day is held on the same day as the carnivals, so you can come and celebrate along with them. The party takes place at Parc Jean-Drapeau and is organized by the Jamaica Association of Montreal, this one-day event features music Reggae and a lot of dancing.

During this day theJamaican independence is celebrated and the main objective of the event is to present Jamaican culture. At the event you can find food fair, music and cultural traditions. The Jamaica Day celebration was first held in 1982.

 

Activities

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The Carifiesta also has an area where you can hold workshops or buy typical Caribbean food and drinks. In addition, it has activities suitable for all audiences, so you can participate in a lot of recreational events.

 

Tips for going to the Montreal Caribbean Carnivals

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If you want to attend the Montreal Caribbean Carnivals, be sure to plan your trip in advance, make a travel itinerary and book your preferred accommodations in advance. Also, be sure to pack comfortable clothes and shoes so you can fully enjoy the carnivals.

If you wish to bring a costume or outfit with you, you are more than welcome to do so. The Carifiesta is all about having fun and strengthening the bonds of the Caribbean communities with the rest of the population and the hundreds of thousands of people who come every year.

If you have children or younger siblings, don’t hesitate to bring them with you, as the carnival also has activities for children and a carnival parade exclusively for them.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.

 

Events at Montreal Caribbean Carnival

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The Caribbean Carnival celebrations begin a week earlier with the participation of children from Caribbean communities. A week before the official day, hundreds of children take to the streets in the company of their parents and representatives in colorful costumes The celebration takes place on Côte-des-Neiges Street and is considered the opening or inauguration of the carnivals.

 

Parade

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On the official day of the celebrations, a grand parade takes place in the streets of the city. Everyone looks forward to the festivities with excitement, since, during the carnivals, the groups will have the opportunity to make known the different cultural manifestations that the Caribbean countries have to offer. All the manifestations have musical ambience to accompany the choreographies and the entertainment of the people.

 

J’ouvert

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The J’ouvert J’ouvert begins at 6 am and is the celebration that starts the engines of the carnival. People take to the streets in total uproar with whistles, chains, horns and covered in oil or paint. The whole event is accompanied by metal drums or variousbands of percussionists who liven up the festivities.

 

Montreal Caribbean Carnival incorporates children from the Caribbean community into the festivities

Montreal Caribbean Carnival incorporates children from the Caribbean community into the festivities

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Montreal Caribbean Carnival Parades

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The carnival has two parades: the Children’s Parade which is held a week before the official dates and the Grand Parade on the official day with the participation of More Groups and Bands.

The Children’s Parade features the participation of the little ones of the city between the ages of 2 and 16 years. The streets are filled with hundreds of colorful and thematic costumes, full of feathers and glitter everywhere. The party is also accompanied by parents and representatives and musical bands.

 

 

The Grand Parade has the participation of dozens of groups that take to the streets with different and colorful costumes. Some people choose to attend with more traditional costumes, performing choreographies typical of their countries of origin. Others, decide to attend with the characteristic costumes of the Bandas Mas, colorful, revealing garments, full of glitter and feathers. The whole event is accompanied by bandas, DJs or large trucks with loudspeakers playing calypso and soca.

 

Parade route

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During the Montreal Caribbean Carnival parade, the streets of the city are crossed

During the Montreal Caribbean Carnival parade, the streets of the city are crossed

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The Children’s Parade usually starts at Nelson Mandela Park on Victoria Avenue and proceeds down Plamondon Avenue until it reaches Kent Park.

The Grand Carifiesta Parade usually takes Saint-Catherine Street, but on some occasions has traveled along Boulevard René-Lévesque or Rue Fort, ending at Rue de Bleury.

 

Jerk Chicken is one of the quintessential Caribbean dishes

Jerk Chicken is one of the quintessential Caribbean dishes

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What to eat at the Caribbean Carnival in Montreal

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Caribbean carnival festivities around the world are quite deeply rooted in the culture, so you’re going to get a wide variety of cultural manifestations in during the celebrations. One of the clearest samples of Caribbean traditions is the cuisine and in the Carifiesta you can find a great variety of dishes. During the celebration of the Caribbean Carnival you can find several stalls and tents that serve delicious and traditional food.

One of the foods that you can never miss during the festivities is the Jerk Chicken. It is a dish that is basically composed of roasted or barbecued chicken, which is well seasoned and spiced. The chicken goes on the grill, caramelizing the outside of the piece, creating a delicious spicy and sweet combination.

One of the iconic Caribbean drinks is the Rum Punch. This is a perfect blend of pineapple or pineapple juice with orange and lime juice. Everything is integrated with a good dose of rum of the best quality and sweetened with some grenadine. It is an idea drink to have during a hot day and during carnivals.

In addition, the city of Montreal offers a great number of restaurants, cafes and bars that you can visit to have a different and unique gastronomic experience. Some of the most famous places are: Le Club Chasse Et Peche, Regine Café, Le Robin Square, Bonaparte and Modavie.

 

Rum Punch is one of the most famous alcoholic drinks in the Caribbean

Rum Punch is one of the most famous alcoholic drinks in the Caribbean

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Travel Insurance

 

From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside the Montreal Caribbean Carnival

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If you extend your visit a week before, you can attend the children’s parade and see the hundreds of colorful costumes that cross the city to the accompaniment of Caribbean music. A week later, you can attend the official carnivals when the J’ouver and the Grand Carnival Parade take place with the participation of the carnival groups.

If you decide togo to the J’ouvert, be prepared to wake up early in the morning to go out and party. Also, wear clothes you don’t care to get dirty or a costume you can stain, as you’ll probably come out of there completely covered in dirt, paint and water.

A few hours later, you can attend the big parade. There, you will find hundreds of people performing choreographies, either traditional dances or simplydancing to the rhythm of calypso, socca or performing a typical Caribbean dance called “Jump-up”. The entire ceremony is accompanied by catchy live music of the highest quality.

If you want to elevate your experience, you can participate in Jamaica Day which is usually held on the same day. During the celebration they offer concerts, entertainment, drinks and food. In addition, they hold a big party in which hundreds of people participate.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside of the Montreal Caribbean Carnivals

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Some of the attractions you can get in the city of Montreal are:

 

Notre-Dame de Montréal

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It is one of the most important religious temples of the city. The basilica was built between 1824 and 1829. Inside it has an imposing decoration with a vaulted ceiling of various colors and gilded details.

 

Monte Real

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It is a public park that you can visit to hang out. During the winter, the park is completely covered with snow and some activities and snow sports take place. Nearby you can find a lot of stores where you can eat or have a drink.

 

Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

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It is a museum that has multiple exhibition areas, paintings and sculptures. The building was founded in 1860 and each year receives at least one million visitors.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety at the Caribbean Carnivals in Montreal

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Montreal is a city like any other major city in the world. While it is considered safe, it does not escape petty crime and criminal activity that can occur just like anywhere else in the world.

If you manage to identify any type of suspicious activity, be sure to contact the proper authorities. Also, be sure to keep your belongings in a safe place, keep an eye on your surroundings so you don’t fall victim to pickpockets or typical tourist scams during high season.

Also, we recommend the following products to keep your belongings safe:

 

 

Weather at the Montreal Caribbean Carnival

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During the Carifiesta or Caribbean Carnival, the city of Montreal has a pleasant climate, with temperatures ranging from 18 to 26 degrees Celsius.

 

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival is a space for the development of the Caribbean culture

The Montreal Caribbean Carnival is a space for the development of the Caribbean culture

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How to get to the Montreal Caribbean Carnival

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How to get there by plane

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The closest airport with the most connections is the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. From there, you can make use of the different means of transportation to reach the city center.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by train

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The main station is the Gare Centrales which you can use to get around the city. In addition, you have the Union Station that connects to other cities in the country.

 

How to get there by bus

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From the airport you can take a bus company STM 747 Express on line 474. The journey takes about 20 minutes.

In addition, the city has its station Gare d’autocars de Montréal, which allows transportation between the various sectors of the city and the province.

 

How to get there by car

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From the airport you can take a car to the city center via the AutoRoute 20. The journey takes about 20 minutes.

 

Where to stay at the Montreal Caribbean Carnival

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Booking.com

 

Hotel Ruby Foo’s

4 star hotel 7 km from the city center. Rooms have air conditioning, desk and TV. The hotel has a swimming pool, gym, restaurant, bar, parking and free wifi.

 

Hotel Newstar Montréal

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3-star hotel 8 km from the city center. Rooms feature n satellite TV, refrigerator and microwave. Facilities offer restaurant, parking and free wifi.

 

Best Western Plus Hotel Montreal

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4-star hotel 450 meters from the city center. Rooms feature TV, coffee maker and private bathroom. Facilities include fitness center, restaurant, bar, parking and free wifi.

We recommend you use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.



 

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