Mexico 26th February – 4th March: The Cozumel Carnival
Staying at the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda between the 26th February and the 4th March? Then be sure not to miss the Cozumel Carnival. This annual event, generally held the week before Ash Wednesday, dates back to the mid nineteenth century, and is billed as an amazing island tradition that celebrates Mexican culture.
Although the origins of carnival remain unclear, it is generally agreed that it is a Catholic celebration originating in Ancient Rome or Greece. Followers would host wild festivals in the days leading up to Lent. The tradition spread across Europe and was soon exported to the Americas.
The Cozumel Carnival is thought to have originated in 1876 when young locals began dressing in vibrant costumes and danced along the streets as a means of expression. The masquerade element of the carnival was introduced later, in 1904. Today, the carnival has become a huge fiesta with people flocking to the town from around the world to enjoy live music, traditional food and drink, and take in the spectacle.
What to expect
Although the main week of events takes place between Wednesday 26th February and Tuesday 4th March 2014, pre-carnival events are hosted throughout February. These events are centered around choosing the Cozumel King and Queen, and whilst some are ticketed only, others are free. The real fun kicks off on Wednesday 26th February, with the coronation of the Carnival King and Queen. Visit the main square Parque Benito Juarez on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday to enjoy food, dancing and carnival activities. The celebrations start at 9am each day and continue well in to the night. Past carnivals have included parades with large floats adorned with flowers, competitions, special dance and music performances as well as the traditional burning of Juan Carnival on the final night.
How to get there
The BlueBay Grand Esmeralda is an excellent base for exploring all that the Cozumel Carnival and surrounding area has to offer. Take our shuttle bus to downtown Playa del Carmen from where you can catch a ferry over to Cozumel. The regular ferry service takes around 45 minutes.
Find out more information about the Carnival AGENDA at carnavalcozumel.com.mx