Ponce Carnival (Carnaval de Ponce)
The Caribbean version of Mardi Gras, the annual Carnaval de Ponce (Ponce Carnival) is a sensual feast that is guaranteed to delight visitors to Puerto Rico looking for a taste of authentic boricua culture. A week-long festival that ends on the day before Ash Wednesday each year, the Ponce Carnival's origins are an interesting mix of Catholicism and African, Spanish and native Caribbean folklore. Although there is plenty for the eye to feast on during the Carnaval, the highlight is undoubtedly the Vejigantes, masked characters representing demons who take to the street in colourful, traditional costumes. Vejigante masks (all featuring cartoonish horns and teeth) are sold during the festival, and make wonderful Puerto Rican souvenirs for loved ones back home. The Ponce Carnival is Puerto Rico's biggest annual festival and one of its most beloved family events, and those looking for an ideal Easter vacation destination are strongly recommended to give this fun and vibrant event a try.
Date: 15-21 February 2012