The Carnaval in Barranquilla, Colombia is one of the largest carnavals in the world. It is hosted by the city of Barranquilla, Colombia on the Caribbean Sea. During this four day intensive carnaval, nothing happens in Barranquilla but the carnaval. The streets are full of people and all business comes to a halt. Aspects of this carnaval date back to the 19th century. The carnaval begins 40 days before the holy week, on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. Unesco honored this Carnaval in Barranquilla by declaring it a World Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The first day is the Battalla de Las Flores, the largest event of the carnaval. On Sunday, the second day, is The Grand Parade. On the third day is the 84th Street Parade. The fourth and last day of the carnaval is the Funeral of Joselito Carnaval. Joselito Carnaval signifies gaiety and festiveness.
During the parade there is an abundance of dancing and music. There are also a lot of people wearing costumes and parading through the streets. This is a very multicultural event that is very ethnically diverse. The costumes with the masks sporting the long noses, La Marimonda, are of a Colombian origin. The other style costumes are European or African.
There are two main types of dancing during the carnaval. They are Cumbia and Garabato. Cumbia is a courting dance and the Garabato dance depicts victory of life over death.
The Battala de Las Flores is a parade that is a giant celebration. It begins with a float, with the Queen of the Carnaval flanked by an entourage of princes and princesses. They are followed by groups of people dancing, and following them are other groups of costumed people. It is quite the colorful and diverse affair.
The Grand Parade is full of people dressed up in costumes and dancing in the streets. The 84th Street Parade is also a significant event. In this parade the queen of the carnaval is dressed in black, representing the widow of Joselito Carnaval. There is a lot of ceremony and dancing in the streets and sidewalks.
The Funeral of Joselito Carnaval is the last big event of the parade and it happens on the fourth day of the carnaval. Joselito Carnaval, who signifies festiveness, dies after 4 days of intensive partying during the carnaval. He is symbolically buried and mourned on this final day.
This carnaval attracts tourists from Colombia and all over the world. It is a beautiful multicultural event. The people of Barranquilla do an immense amount of preparation to make this carnaval possible. If you like Latin Carnavals then you should not miss this one.
To learn more about Colombia, or to see some phenomenal pictures of this carnaval, go to