Red-Hot (Literally!) Martinique Carnival

Every Carnival that I’ve experienced had its high points. Trinidad, Saint Martin (French Side), Dominica, Saint Croix. Each exploded in singular moments with unfettered joy and revelry. My Martinique Carnival experience, though, was different. Next level feelings of euphoria and exaltation were more sustained over my four primary nights of fun. As the sun set each day, the streets of Fort-de-France would burst into a wild bacchanal. Unlike the more formal system of Mas Bands that add structure (and security) to the Carnival fun elsewhere, Martinique Carnival is more of a free-for-all. The fete is fully-inclusive, with any and all masqueraders hitting the streets with homemade costumes in line with the theme for each day. By nightfall, though, even the themes seem to fade. Emerging in their place is wild and wondrous chaos on a level impossible to describe with words. So, here’s a quick snippet to give you a sense of what it’s like…

Crazy, right? Embers jetting off of that red-hot flare stung my skin as I tried to capture the moment. Any slight pains from the flare, though, paled in comparison to the absolute elation I felt at being in the middle of the bashment, and the excitement I had over what was to come.

This, after all, was the first night of my Martinique Carnival experience. And yeah, it would only get wilder from here.

More on that coming soon…



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