When many people think of Carnaval, scenes of Brazil’s or Germany’s super-famous parades may come to mind: Colorful costumes. Huge parade floats. Music and dancing. Food and drink. But Carnival in Ecuador isn’t quite the same.
Many countries around the world with dominant Catholic populations observe a form of Carnaval. It is a celebration before the start of Lent, and by many Ecuadorians it is considered a very special day.
On Carnaval they enjoy the company of their families and find fun and festive ways to celebrate. “Every minute is incredible and you have to enjoy each of them because you have to wait a whole year to be able to do it again,” says one participant. Armed with water balloons, water guns, and colorful paint, many Ecuadorians turn public spaces into jubilant battlegrounds. Balconies and other high places serve as strategic positions from which to soak unsuspecting passersby.
I stopped in to speak with two of our Starfish to find out about their families traditions.
“In my case we go to the beach with my family, we bring artificial colors and balloons and as soon as we arrive at the beach we are very excited and we run to the sea to feel the waves. Then we fill the balloons with water and to play. We are never the only ones there; other people also show up and play excitedly. It’s a great chance to meet new people. Throughout the day there are also nautical and land shows, which are very beautiful and funny and they make that day really amusing and unique.”
Dervis de la Rosa
“In the morning, I have fun with my family. We prepare balloons filled with water and put them in a bucket until we have a considerable amount of them. We also go to the store to buy artificial colors to play with – this is real fun. At the end of the day we are very tired and happy for the playful day, but the most important is that we spent it with our family.”
This year, Carnaval in Ecuador will be on February 27th and 28th. I can’t wait until the festivities begin!