As every year, in 2016 the carnival lovers set the streets of Guadeloupe on fire. As usual, on New Year’s Day, some “groups with skin” (gwoup a po, in Creole) paraded very early in the morning before going to have a swin in the sea, called “bain-démaré”, in order to have a good carnival and a happy new year. However, the official launch of the carnival parades was held on the first Sunday in January, the closing took place on Ash Wednesday. As in 2015, this carnival in 2016 certainly was a short (from Sunday 3, January to Wednesday 10, February 2016 ) but it was very hot and intense.
In 2016, carnival was everywhere. Close to twenty towns and communes hosted parades often with imposed themes among which : “Goziéval” in Le Gosier ; “Kannaval Limass” in Sainte-Rose ; “Gwoup a Po Festival” in Port-Louis ; “Bémao Mi Mas” in Baie-Mahault ; “Doubout Pou on Gran Vidé” in Les Abymes ; “Woy mi Mass” in Grand-Bourg (Marie-Galante) ; “Steel Band Festival” in Trois-Rivières ;“Great Carnival by Night” in Le Lamentin ; “Le Moule en Folie” in Le Moule ; “Mas o Kannal” in Petit-Canal ; “La Parad’hais” in Deshaies ; “La Parade Ansoise” in Anse-Bertrand ; “La Parade des Lumières” in Basse-Terre (Theme : Night Illusions) and Saint-François ; “The Stallholders Parade” in Basse-Terre ; the federative parades in Goyave, Capesterre Belle-Eau and Morne-à-l’Eau…
The big new attraction of this year was the “Mas a Po Festival” which consisted of a parade (déboulé, in Creole) with 17 Guadeloupe’s “groups with skin” and their musical performances on stage in Les Abymes.
This event was organized within the framework of “Mas Ka Klé Cultural Week end” with as guests of honour the Kalinago Amerindians from Dominica.
We must not forget the “Dimanche Gras Big Parade” in Pointe-à-Pitre (Sunday before Shrove Tuesday) with about fifty groups from Guadeloupe and three groups from St Lucia, French Guiana and Martinique ; the “Shrove Tuesday Big Parade” in Basse-Terre with decors (Theme : The Invisible Marvels) and the participation of more than sixty groups ; and the “Ash Wednesday parades” in several towns and communes on the island.
This desire to better organize carnival is the result of an awareness among political and economic leaders as well as carnival lovers themselves so that this rich heritage which is over 100 years old is enhanced. Note that“Tour de Guadeloupe” (cycling) which takes place in August and carnival are the two most important events that draw the most spectators, in addition they are free.
So, the “Office du Carnaval de Guadeloupe” (OCG) was founded in 2008 under the leadership of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe to structure this carnival.
The organizers promise us an edition 2017 of Guadeloupe carnival even more intense…