Festivals: Uruguayan Carnival

Uruguayan Carnival

 

Most of us when we hear the word “carnival” we think of Brazil.  Along with bright color costumes and half-naked people dancing in the street.  Uruguay’s carnival might not be as famous as its neighboring country but it is the longest carnival in the world.

 

Festivals: Uruguayan Carnival

The Uruguayan Carnival starts around the end of January and lasts for 40 days.  Carnivals take place all over the country but the place to be is in the capital city Montevideo.

History

The story of carnival starts in the mid 18th century with slaves from Africa arriving in Montevideo.  The slaves were giving one day to celebrate their cultural identity.  Candombe, a form of drum based music emerged from these celebrations.  After the slaves got their freedom, the celebrations continued.  Over time the candmobe style merged with the traditional Uruguayn music.  This created a blend of African and Uruguayan rhythms that you can hear in the celebrations today.

 

Festivals: Uruguayan Carnival

 

Carnival is like a dance parade.  The parade consists of groups called comparsa.  These are groups of candombe players along with colorful dancers performing to the beats.  One of the highlights of the celebration is the inaugural carnival parade Desfile Inaugural del Carnaval.  Another highlight is the Las LLamadas which is another parade that is a must-see event in the Montevideo carnival.  There are also Tablados which are shows that are done on the street throughout the city.

 

Festivals: Uruguayan Carnival

 

If you plan on making a visit to see the Uruguayan Carnival make sure to bring your swimsuit.

 

Festivals: Uruguayan Carnival

 

As people are freezing in the Northern Hemisphere, in Uruguay, it is summer time. The perfect time to enjoy the party!

If you are looking to travel to check out a Spanish speaking country make sure to download our free Spanish Survival Guide to help you navigate the Spanish language as you move through the country.

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