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Cayenne Carnival, French Guiana

El Carnaval en Paramaribo en Surinam es peculiar, ya que las celebraciones se llevan a cabo a través de caminatas
Paramaribo Carnival, Surinam
Las Parrandas de Remedios son celebraciones en donde se elaboran carrozas llenas de luces que iluminan las calles
Parrandas de Remedios, Cuba

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What is the Cayenne Carnival?

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Cayenne Carnival in French Guiana is an annual celebration that takes place in the South American country. The celebration has Afro-Caribbean influences and is celebrated before Ash Wednesday. During the festivities, people dance, celebrate, eat, drink, listen to music and dress up.

Despite not being well known, the Carnival of Cayenne is one of the most diverse celebrations on the South American continent. During carnival season, people take to the streets to party in ostentatious and colorful costumes, each telling a different story. In addition, several commemorative ceremonies are held, which turn the carnival into a magical and festive event.

 

 

Year after year, Cayenne becomes the epicenter of an incredible event, which integrates various sectors of society, as well as tourists from various parts of the region and the world.

 

The carnival of Cayenne in French Guiana is of great importance for the country and is made up of several characters

The carnival of Cayenne in French Guiana is of great importance for the country and is made up of several characters

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When is the Carnival of Cayenne

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Carnival in French Guiana takes place between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday.

 

History of the Carnivals of Cayenne

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Carnivals in French Guiana were the result of traditions brought over from the French settlers. These festivities were unique and exclusive to French and free residents, so African slaves were not allowed to take part. However, they celebrated it clandestinely and secretly. Carnival practices by slaves were seen as a form of liberation and mockery of the colonists.



Finally, the festivities were formally established in 1848, following the abolition of slavery in the country and features the participation of multiple cultures and nationalities predominant in the country, such as the Chinese, Africans, French, Brazilians and the natives.

 

Where is the Cayenne Carnival

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The carnival is held in the capital of French Guiana, Cayenne..

 

Le Jé farin is a character from the carnivals of Cayenne in French Guiana who dress in white

Le Jé farin is a character from the carnivals of Cayenne in French Guiana who dress in white

 

How the Cayenne Carnival is celebrated

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The Carnival of Cayenne in French Guiana features several festive days, which integrate a large number of elements unique to the country. One of these elements is the large number of characters that are present during the Carnival season. Each of these characters plays a particular role, transforming the celebration into a truly diverse and magical spectacle.

 

Characters

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These carnivals feature traditional and colorful characters that are a must for the festivities. Some of these characters are:

 

Le Roi Vaval

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This character represents the King of Carnival. The character dies on Cinder Wednesday to be reborn next year as a phoenix.

 

Le Touloulou

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One of the most emblematic characters. This characteristic costume features elegant garments, wears a petticoat, a hood, a mask and gloves. It represents the women of the bourgeoisie.

 

Les nègmarons

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It is a character who wears loincloths and are covered with oil and soot. This character represents the slaves of the colonial era and their job is to impose order in the parade. These characters carry tomatoes in their mouths.

 

Zonbi baréyé

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A character who plays the role of zombie during the parade.

 

Le Jé farin

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It is a character who dresses entirely in white and wears a mask, he represents a baker.

 

Bobi

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It is a somewhat simple costume, it consists of some brown jute bags with a strap and represents bears.

 

Karolin

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She is a bourgeois woman who wears jewelry and gold. The husband carries her on his back and protects him from other women.

 

Lanmò

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She represents death and is completely dressed in white.

 

Sousouris

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It is the representation of a vampire who is dressed in black. He walks around the parade chasing and annoying passers-by.

 

Djab rouj

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It represents a red and black devil. It is the costume that predominates on the last day of carnival.

 

Tips to go to the Carnivals of Cayenne

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If you wish to attend the carnivals of French Guiana, we recommend you to plan your trip in advance, make a travel itinerary and book your accommodation in the establishment of your choice.

Also, remember to stay hydrated during the festivities and wear comfortable clothes and shoes during the celebration.

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

 

Events in Cayenne Carnival

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On Carnival Saturday the Queens Carnival Queens or Touloulous wear large, ostentatious and colorful dresses, wear masks and dance among the streets of the city, inviting some men to dance with them. Then, on Saturday and Friday night, large balls are organized where the Touloulous dance with the participants.

On Carnival Sunday, the main parades take place in the calles of Cayenne. The different groups dress according to the theme imposed that year, including the allegorical floats and the musicians who accompany the parade with drums. Thousands of people are astonished on the sidewalks while the great spectacle of the comparsas takes place. Also, the different groups of foreigners in the city make their presence felt, the Brazilians contribute with samba and the Chinese with the dancing dragons. During this day, the different characters of the carnival are present, who make presentations, disturb the spectators or simply parade their colorful costumes.

 

 

On Carnival Monday a wedding ceremony takes place, where women wear suits and men wear dresses. The Tuesday of Carnival is the last day of the festivities, when people welcome the spirit of Roi Vaval, considered the spirit and demon of carnival, who is represented by his effigy made of straw, arriving by canoe to the beach. On that day the dancers and participants wear red and black.

Finally, on Ash Wednesday, the closing ceremony takes place with the burning of the effigy of Roi Vaval. During this day people wear black and white to commemorate the death of the King.

 

Brass bands and comparsas wear themed costumes during the Cayenne carnival parade

Brass bands and comparsas wear themed costumes during the Cayenne carnival parade

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Cayenne Carnival Parades

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The Grand Parade takes place during the dayCarnival Sunday. On this day the streets become one big stage with the different traditional carnival characters. Likewise, the comparsas make a presence in the streets of the city, wearing themed, colorful and bright garments, while accompanied by carrozas and bandas musicales..

In addition, the city’s immigrant communities make a presence in the parades, contributing traditional elements, including samba dances by the Brazilians and dragon dancers from the Chinese.

 

Parade route

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The bands and troupes of the Cayenne carnival parade in French Guiana wear themed costumes

The bands and troupes of the Cayenne carnival parade in French Guiana wear themed costumes

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The parades take place in the various streets of the city of Cayenne.

 

Galette des Rois is common to consume during carnivals

Galette des Rois is common to consume during carnivals

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What to eat during the Carnival of Cayenne

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One of the typical foods is the Blaff, a kind of fish chupe. Likewise, the Galette des Rois, a puff pastry cake containing a bean inside, is also usually eaten at carnival. Whoever finds this bean becomes the king for the day.

Some of the options for eating out that the city offers you are Restaurant Paris Cayenne, La Petite Maison and Le Boeuf au Jardin..

 

The Blaff is typical of French Guiana

The Blaff is typical of French Guiana

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Travel Insurance

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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 Carnival of Cayenne

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Within the carnivals you cansee the arrival of the King of Carnival on the days prior to the major celebrations. Likewise, you can take part in the recreational or cultural activities that are organized in the city.

Once the official celebration begins, you can appreciate the big dances with the Toulouloulou, the wedding ceremony, the reception of the spirit of the King of Carnival and the Grand Parade.

Finally, you can attend the closing ceremony of the carnival with the burning of the figure of the king.

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 the Carnivals of Cayenne

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Some of the attractions in the city are:

 

Musée des cultures guyanaises

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It is a museum in which different pieces and objects of the different ethnic groups that constituted the country are exposed, as well as the first settlers and immigrants.

 

Cathedral of the Holy Savior of Cayenne

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It is one of the main temples of the city. The temple was inaugurated in 1861 and was declared a Historic Monument in 1992.

 

Alexandre-Franconie Departmental Museum

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It is a museum where collections and pieces of natural and local history, ethnography and archeology are exhibited.

In addition, 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 Carnival of Cayenne

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The city of Cayenne and French Guiana are relatively safe. Although we advise you to be cautious and not carry large amounts of money on the street and keep valuables and documents in a safe place. Also, we recommend the following products to keep your belongings safe:

 

 

Carnival weather in Cayenne

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The weather in the city during the festivities is pleasant, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and some precipitation during the month.

 

Les nègmarons is one of the main characters of the carnivals of Cayenne in French Guiana

Les nègmarons is one of the main characters of the carnivals of Cayenne in French Guiana

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How to get to the Carnivals of Cayenne

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How to get there by plane

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The city has a main airport called Cayenne-Rochambeau Airport which makes several connections with France and other countries in the region. Once you are here, you can use the different transports to reach the city.

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 bus

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From the airport you can take a bus directly to the city. The trip takes 35 minutes.

You can also take a bus to Cayenne from Brazil.

 

How to get there by car

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From the airport you can take the N2 road until you reach the city. The drive is 20 minutes.

 

Where to stay at the Carnival of Cayenne

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Booking.com

 

Grand Hotel Montabo

4-star hotel 3.1 km from the city center. Rooms feature satellite TV, private bathroom, air conditioning and desk. In addition, facilities include swimming pool, parking, airport transfers, restaurant and bar.

 

Central Hotel Cayenne

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3-star hotel 800 meters from the city center. Rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, writing, closet and private bathroom. Also, facilities include bar, parking and wifi.

 

Hotel Ker Alberte

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4-star hotel 1 km from the city center. The rooms have TV and private bathroom. Likewise. the hotel has a swimming pool, free wifi, parking, restaurant and bar.

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



 

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