Carnival Monday in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba in 2022

Carnival Monday in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba in 2022
A dancer at the Saba Summer Festival Image by Cees Timmers , via Saba Tourism Development Foundation

  How long until Carnival Monday?
Carnival Monday
  Dates of Carnival Monday in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
2023 Saba Mon, Jul 31 Regional Holiday
2022 Saba Mon, Jul 25 Regional Holiday
2021 Saba Mon, Jul 26 Regional Holiday
2020 Saba Mon, Jul 27 Regional Holiday
2019 Saba Mon, Jul 29 Regional Holiday

The Saba Summer Festival runs for the last week of July

When is Carnival Monday in Saba?

Carnival Monday is usually the last Monday in July. It is an official holiday and a non-working day in Saba.

It marks the culmination of the annual Saba Carnival.

Traditions of Carnival in Saba

They say that the Rio Carnival is the greatest show on Earth as the streets of Rio de Janeiro explode in a riot of colour and noise as partygoers from across the world welcome the onset of Lent in early spring. That tradition had made its way from medieval Europe via Africa to the Americas during the age of exploration and the slave trade.

It wasn't just Brazil that began a tradition of Carnival. From Louisiana in the USA, across the Caribbean and into South America, different geographic, ethnic and religious influences shaped each Carnival to form its unique identity.

Take the Saba Summer Festival as an example. Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Saba is a tiny island only five square miles nestled in the northeastern Caribbean, yet its colourful and exuberant annual festival packs enough "spice per mile" to compete with the grandest of carnivals!

According to Saba Tourism Bureau, Carnival, also known as Saba Summer Festival has been taking place since 1975. It's held in July as many Sabans living abroad, in particular students furthering their education elsewhere, return home for the Summer holidays. The Saba Summer Festival may use terms familiar to Lent Carnivals such as Jouvert and Last Lap, but the focus here is on having fun rather than a last splurge before the austerity of Lent.

The public holiday for Carnival Monday replaced Whit Monday, which is no longer observed as a public holiday. 

Highlights of the festival include the Opening Night Jump-Up, which is when islanders parade through the street, dancing and revelling in the joy of the celebration, live concerts, various competitions, comedy shows, costume competitions, and the costumed parades that take place on the final Saturday and Sunday.

Carnival Monday is then a very welcome day off for everyone to catch their breath and recover after the end of the Festival.

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