I’m pretty sure that you have already heard about the Cozumel Carnaval. I know I may be biased, but the Carnaval in Cozumel that happens each February is the best in the Mexican Caribbean!
The Carnaval of Cozumel is the pride and joy of the island. Each year the people of Cozumel come together and put their heart and soul into the dances, costumes, and performances that have turned this Carribean tradition into something at the cultural heart of the Island.
Year after year, generation after generation, the planning of the Cozumel Carnaval begins the very next day after the closing of the previous year’s carnaval. That’s how seriously Cozumeleños take this festival!
The official dates of the Cozumel Carnaval in 2020 are from Sunday, February 16th and it ends on Wednesday, February 26th. For the most up to date information be sure to give the official Cozumel Carnaval Facebook page a like.
Cozumeleños are born into this tradition of carnaval and its an important part of our cultural identity and heritage. We are brought up to believe that everyone on the island must be involved in the Carnaval in some way, no matter how big or small. Some people have a more creative role, others help by designing and making the amazing costumes, plumes, and scenery.
Others spend months and months rehearsing the beautiful dance performances. And others simply show up to watch the incredible processions which begin with the first parade on the boardwalk on Saturday and it ends with the last ride on Tuesday.
In this post, I want to share with you how Cozumeleños experience the Carnaval because for us it actually begins one month before the first parade with a series of Carnaval related events.
On the month leading up to the Cozumel Carnaval each Saturday night, at the Moby Dick Entertainment Center, dozens of cozumeleños meet to enjoy watching the performances from local groups who have been working hard rehearsing. This is the first time they get to perform in front of a live audience.
If you miss the Saturday evening show the next day you can see the same performances for free in Andrés Quintana Roo Park at approximately 6 p.m.
The first official event of the Cozumel Carnaval begins with the presentation of the Carnaval Kings Candidates. There isn’t just one king and queen, there are many different categories: King and Queen of the Carnaval, Children King and Queen, King and Queens of Diversity, Special Kings and Queens, and Juvenile Kings and Queens.
The kings and queens of each category get their own special night to perform with a cast of 50 people. The performance is always very special and the costumes are incredible! Bright and colorful, full of sequins, feathers, and of course bright gemstones!
At the end of each performance, there is always a headline act, an artist of national and international fame. The artist performs while the crowd is waiting for all of the votes to be counted. Then at the end of the night, the winners are announced and the celebration is nothing short of overwhelming!
In the days after the kings and queens election nights, and before the parades, the troupes will take to the streets of Cozumel at any time of the day, to dance and spread the joy of Carnaval to the thousands of tourists and locals on the island. So if you are in Cozumel during the lead up to Carnaval then expect to see shows from noon each day in hotels and on the boardwalk.
Let’s face it, with year-round good weather, there really is no bad time to visit Cozumel. But if you are looking for an extra special time to visit Cozumel. Then Carnaval is it!
And of course, while you’re in Cozumel don’t forget to come diving with us.