Mas Domnik is Dominica’s Carnival, known as the ‘Real Mas’ because it holds true to Carnival traditions of the past. Held during the traditional period of pre-Lenten, it is a feast of calypso music, Carnival competitions and activities all leading up to two exciting days of street jump-up. About a month prior to the festivities, Carnival is formally opened with an official Opening Parade and ceremony which highlights the celebrations to come.
Carnival typically takes place on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. In the months leading up to Carnival, there are Calypso shows, village feasts and pageants. Traditionally Monday and Tuesday are the two final days of celebration before the quiet and reflective Lenten period commences.
This year, in the aftermath of hurricanes Maria and Irma, the government has decided to put together a scaled down version of Mas Domnik. Events such as the Miss Dominica Pageant, the Princess Show and the opening parade will not take place.
Here is the list events scheduled to take place for Mas Domnik celebrations this year.
- Carnival Move Night at the Bayfront – Friday 2nd February
- Carnival Ole Mas Festival at St. Joseph – Sunday 4th February
- Bouyon Day – Sunday 11th February
- Carnival Bord La Mer at the Bayfront – Sunday 11th February
Parades and Fetes
- Lagoon Street Jam on the streets of Roseau – Monday 5th February
- Triple Kay Inception Bouyon Festival at the Newtown Savannah – Friday 9th February
- Carnival Beer Fest Bar Lyme on the streets of Roseau – Saturday 10th February
- Rotary Club Souse and Punch on the streets of Roseau – Sunday 11th February
- Astaphans Powder Fest at Astaphans Car Park – Sunday 11th February
- Jouvert on the streets of Roseau – Monday 12th February
- Carnival Monday on the streets of Roseau – Monday 12th February
- Carnival Tuesday on the streets of Roseau – Tuesday 13th February
- Taway Vaval in the Kalinago Territory – Wednesday 14th February
Carnival in Dominica has come a long way since the tradition of wild costume festivals, merrymaking and pre-Lenten feasting first started by the Catholic Europeans in the late 1700’s.
Following the abolition of slavery and the slave trade, the freed slaves celebrated by engaging in masquerade, dancing and singing in the streets and embracing carnival as an expression of their new found freedom.
For more information on Dominica’s carnival, please visit http://www.avirtualdominica.com/project/carnival-in-dominica/