What is it?
This party along with the Expofer is considered one of the two main celebrations in the City of Chetumal. Each year hundreds of people await the arrival of Carnaval so that they can enjoy the parade with its many dance parties, dressed up cars and all the activities Carnaval brings such as contests and popular dances in the Flag Promenade. National and International artists also participate in this activity.
The party begins with the coronation of royalty: King and Queen of Carnaval, the Elderly, Children, Sexual Diversity, Popular and the Disabled. The first parade is for the children and during the next four days is the parade for young adults, the event ends with the burning of Juan Carnaval. The parade usually begins at the Municipal Palace, travels along Alvaro Obregon street, September 16th street and ends at the Flag Promenade.
Where does Carnaval come from?
The word carnaval means the meat party. It derives from a pagan celebration, similar to the rites organized in honor of the god Dionysos (greek god of wine) or in honor of the god Apis in Egypt.
History of Chetumal’s Carnaval
The carnaval in Chetumal began in 1912, brought by the gum farmers and with a strong English infuence because of its close relationship with Belice. Originally this carnaval was very attractive to the population because of the comparsa. Through the comparsas ( satyres of previous events), social grievances against authorities were displayed or the known personages were ridiculed. After hurricane Janet, the carnaval began to present more conventional comparsas and little by little the collective sentiment was left behind so that everyone could have fun in their own way.
In actuality the Chetumal carnaval lasts 2 weeks, organisation and the presentation of comparsa and costume contests take place. It is the towns carnaval, it begins on a Wednesday with the children’s parade and concludes on the next Wednesday with the burning of Juan Carnaval.