Carnivals showcase a charged atmosphere wrapped in vibrant colours laced with loud music, eccentric costumes, flamboyant characters, and gyrating bodies bringing both participants and spectators together in a spectacle of fun, excitement and conviviality as one undulating mass of rambunctious energy. That, in a nutshell, is what Carnaval International de Victoria is all about.
All over the world, carnivals are always a celebration of culture by the people, a time of loosening up, letting go of oneself and enjoy partying with the largest crowd in the area. While we may never know from which culture carnivals were initiated, it is hard to deny that most carnivals are patterned after the Caribbean or Brazilian spectacles.
Carnaval des Carnavals…
Although it is only in its 6th year, the Carnaval International de Victoria has quickly become one of the major carnivals around, attracting participants and tourists from all over the world. Little wonder it has been dubbed La Carnaval des carnivals, meaning the Carnival of Carnivals.
From the time the islands were first settled, Seychelles has been a rich melting pot of cultural diversity of various peoples from the four corners of the earth. This background, and an initiative by the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands for each member to organize a distinct cultural event, may well be the inspiration for the carnival.
Hosted annually since 2011, the Carnaval International de Victoria is a 3-day fiesta held usually in April and it features all the colours, excitements and razzle-dazzle of the contemporary carnivals across the globe.
Matching its theme of “Bringing the world to Seychelles,” the islands become the focal point in those three days as representatives of the world’s famous carnivals are invited to participate in the carnival of carnivals alongside local groups. At the 5th edition in 2015, the carnival parade featured a total of 62 floats – 42 local and 20 international.
Besides the parade of colourful floats by the participants, there is a range of other fun activities to spice up the carnival. The 2016 event held from April 22 to 24, and was another spectacular extravaganza of fun, excitement and conviviality.
In 2017, the festival was merged with the Festival Kreol, and moved from April to October. The 2018 edition is from 23rd to 29th October. It remains an amazing event and a priceless chance for visitors to actually celebrate in the spirit of the Creole way of life.
The Merged festival is packed with even more colourful performances, which include a float event, musical shows, art galleries, and various fairs around the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
Local as well as international artists from all over the Indian Ocean team up to entertain the islands. Be sure that you do not miss out on the cooking delights! The luscious aromas alone will guide you to the food stalls.
Are you making plans to be there this year? It’s happening in October again and it’s a chance to discover Seychelles… Hope to see you there.
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