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Art, Culture and Festivals

Dominica has a rich cultural heritage as well as a lively contemporary art and music scene.

Carnival

Carnival takes place in February or March on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It begins with J’Ouvert, a bohemian parade of costumes, drumming, and bouyon music that begins in the early hours of Monday morning.

Roseau is the place to see the biggest parades, but Portsmouth and villages such as St Joseph, Calibishie and Grand Bay, also put on their own celebrations.

Coined ‘The Real Mas’ and considered one of the Caribbean’s most authentic Carnivals, you can enjoy Africa inspired sensay and stilt dancers, drumming and horn-blowing, Caribbean steel pan, and our very own Creole jing ping, cadence and bouyon music genres.

Teway Vaval

After Carnival Monday and Tuesday, the singular festival of Teway Vaval is held in the villages of Dublanc (near Secret Bay) and Bataca in the Kalinago Territory and involves the symbolic and ritual burning of an effigy representing the spirit of Carnival, or Vaval, for another year.

Jazz & Creole Festival

In May, the annual Jazz & Creole Festival is held just up the road from Secret Bay at Fort Shirley in the Cabrits National Park. It is a well-attended and very fashionable event featuring local, regional and international jazz musicians.

World Creole Music Festival

October is a time for Creole music, costume, food and dance. Every Friday during the month, Dominicans dress in traditional Creole madras outfits, and events throughout the Creole and Independence season are an opportunity to eat Creole foods and see Creole dancing, pageants, and costume parades.

The festivities reach their zenith in Creole Week, which includes the four-day Creole in the Park music and food festival, and the three-night flagship World Creole Music Festival.

 

Festivals and village fetes are held throughout the year, and regional and international musicians often perform here. Art galleries, exhibitions and craft markets all provide an opportunity to view and purchase original works by very talented local and ex-pat artists.

At Secret Bay, we can keep you abreast of any exhibitions or festivals taking place during your stay, and if any of them take your fancy, a private guide can accompany you there and back. Talk to us about your interests when you arrive, and we’ll take care of the rest.

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