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Guadeloupe Carnival

Date of the Guadeloupe carnival 2024

  • February 11, 2024: Shrove Sunday, the official opening of carnival celebrations in Guadeloupe

  • February 12: Shrove Monday

  • February 13: Shrove Tuesday, the day of the Grande Parade in Basse Terre

  • February 14: Ash Wednesday marks the end of Carnival with the death of Vaval, and the start of the Lenten season.

Carnival festivities begin in December:

  • Parade des rois on January 7, 2024 in Pointe Ă  Pitre

  • Mas Espo Val from January 5 to February 15, 2024 in Pointe Ă  Pitre

  • Vaval en drive from January 10 to February 13, 2024 in Les Abymes

Numerous events take place throughout the Guadeloupe Carnival period. To take full advantage of the Guadeloupe Carnival festivities, it's best to have a vehicle. That's why Europcar Guadeloupe is working hard to offer you quality service during this intense period in Guadeloupe.

guadeloupe carnival

© Credit source : Canva

Rent a car to make the most of Guadeloupe Carnival

Celebrate the Guadeloupe carnival on all the island's roads with a Guadeloupe car rental. Organize an unforgettable road trip with Europcar car rental, following the calendar of events Take part in convivial moments where a sparkling atmosphere reigns as part of the Carnival King and Queen elections. We offer you a wide choice of vehicles for a comfortable trip on the roads of Guadeloupe: choose the car that suits you best.

What is the Guadeloupe Carnival?

Carnival in Guadeloupe is a traditional event that highlights the island's rich culture. Each year before Lent, Guadeloupe Carnival marks the start of a period of festivities, parades, music, dance and joy. The Guadeloupe Carnival is not just a simple parade, but a moment of sharing, solidarity and protest, particularly through Vaval. The "vaval" is a mascot that represents a social or current event that has marked the population during the year. It's a way of satirically mocking a public figure or event. Every Ash Wednesday from Basse Terre to Pointe à Pitre, Guadeloupeans mourn Vaval, and it's customary to hear in the streets of Guadeloupe "vaval ka kité nou" ("vaval is leaving us"). King Vaval is condemned to be burned at the stake on Ash Wednesday, in order to purify souls, bury all the bad things of the year and bring Carnival to a close before Lent begins. Carnival in Guadeloupe is memorable in many ways. From November onwards, Guadeloupeans prepare themselves with enthusiasm, making costumes and perfecting choreographies. It's a period full of creativity and gaiety, with carnival evenings featuring a variety of original themes. Every year, the Fédération du Carnaval de Guadeloupe organizes the Mardi Gras Parade. This is the focal point of the carnival, with floats and carnival groups moving to the lively rhythm of local music. Carnival queens and kings add a touch of glamour to the event. Tourists are often impressed by the beauty and diversity of the costumes and dances.

Ash Wednesday

 © Credit source: Florence Peroumal

Carnival Groups in Guadeloupe

At the heart of Carnival, the streets are invaded by numerous carnival groups, divided into four categories:

  • Skin bands ("Gwoup a po"): hundreds of musicians march to the rhythm of animal-skin drums, chachas and lambis horns (e.g. Akyo).

  • Ti Mass" groups: young artists march in masks, playing a variety of percussion instruments including steel pans, plastic drums, snare drums and whistles.

  • Snare drum bands: players in a wide variety of costumes make their brass instruments resound in the distance, from the top of their floats overlooking the procession.

  • Synth groups: on foot, these small groups glide their deft fingers over the keys or strings of their synthesizers, basses and guitars in an electric atmosphere.

guadeloupe carnival - ash wednesday

© Credit source : Canva

February weather in Guadeloupe

Travelling to Guadeloupe in February during the Guadeloupe Carnival is a unique experience, as it's a time of carnival-like energy. What's more, the pleasant temperatures, rivers, beaches and gentle breezes provide the ideal backdrop to this hectic celebration. Although the weather in Guadeloupe in February is mild all year round, it's in February that Guadeloupe reaches its peak of color, music and festivities. The weather in Guadeloupe plays a major role in the success of Carnival. Sunny days and balmy nights encourage participants to wiggle their way through the streets from morning till night. The dazzling costumes are perfectly suited to Guadeloupe's tropical climate.

February in Guadeloupe

In addition to the parades, Guadeloupe's February carnival offers a host of cultural events, including open-air concerts and tastings of traditional Creole dishes. It's an opportunity to celebrate the richness of Guadeloupean culture, a time for sharing. Every February, Guadeloupe is ablaze with color, rhythm and emotion, reminding everyone that life is beautiful. Come to Guadeloupe in February to experience the Guadeloupe Carnival. The Guadeloupe carnival is coming to an end and you'd still like to enjoy the island and take part in other activities? Take a look at our other articles, and you're sure to find the activity that's right for you. Find all our sections now:

  • Beaches and hikes in Guadeloupe

  • Discover the culture and history of Guadeloupe

  • Discover all the best excursions

  • Planning to return to Guadeloupe? Find out when to go to Guadeloupe !

Frequently asked questions

The Guadeloupe carnival takes place all over the archipelago, particularly in Pointe Ă  Pitre and Basse Terre.

  • The Guadeloupe carnival takes place over 4 days. It generally begins on Shrove Sunday and ends on Ash Wednesday. During this period, the whole of Guadeloupe lives to the rhythm of the festivities.

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