Carnival, 101: Arubian Carnival


spectator-trailer-arubaPhoto: Lil Tiger

One of my favorite things about Arubian Carnaval are the spectator trailers. At the start of the parade season, families rent small plots of land along the parade route where they build their own trailers so they can all watch the parade together from an elevated standpoint. They literally build the trailers themselves, building sturdy wooden shacks on top of trailer hitches and painting them distinct colors. These trailers function as homebase. It’s where families stash all their food and booze and other daylong necessities. There they can gather, hang out, dance and get drunk all day, all while getting some shade from the brutal sun.

People usually start setting up the trailers before the parade schedule starts, keeping them throughout the parade season.

Arubian Carnaval is really a family affair. People party and drink and have a good time, but it’s not about debauchery. It’s an all-inclusive, dance-in-the-streets, dress-up-in-elaborate-costumes and eat-good-with-your-fam celebration. The point of Carnaval in Aruba is to celebrate the island’s colorful culture and to set yourself free and have fun. Carnaval is more about everyone just having a good time, than about letting out all your wildest demons and doing hedonistic things.

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