Barbados – Festivals

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Barbados Festivals

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No matter what time of year you visit Barbados, there is a good chance there will be a festival

Barbados Jazz Festival                        January

The Barbados Jazz Festival takes place at the start of the New Year.  Bringing together some of the greatest jazz musicians from Barbados and around the world, the highlight of the festival is two days of open-air concerts at the spectacular Farley Hill National Park.

Jazz fans can bring coolers of drinks and food and enjoy the music while sitting on the hillside in the cool shade of the trees.  Green monkeys can often be seen cavorting close by as they make their way to their feeding ground.

Holetown Festival                                    February

Celebrating the arrival of the first European settlers on February 17th 1627 at the site of present day Holetown, the Holetown Festival features a lively mixture of music, dancing, sports, parades, church services, and a street fair and market.

Local arts and crafts, Bajan food, and street entertainment are all part of this lively festival.

Holders Season                                    March

This month long festival, founded in 1993, is held on the grounds of 18th century Holders Plantation House.  Presenting opera, classical music, jazz, Latin, and Caribbean music, alongside poetry, and drama, the Holders Season is acclaimed as one of the premier international festivals in the Caribbean.

Congaline Carnival                                    April

Congaline Carnival the name says it all!  Late April sees the streets filled with calypso bands and dancers in the “World’s Greatest Street Party”.  Daily entertainment, exhibitions, crafts and food all lead up to the Congaline Street Parade, an all day event featuring music, dancing, and partying that goes on till late in the night.

Oistins Fish Festival                        Easter

Street fairs, music, dancing, and art exhibitions are all on display as the people of the fishing industry are given a chance to exhibit their skills.

The festival recognizes the efforts of people involved in this important local industry.

Celtic Festival                                    May

Held during the last two weeks of the month, the festival features traditional Welsh Gymanfa Ganu community hymn singing; traditional Scottish music; Welsh clog dancing; Appalachian music and dancing; Highland Games on the beach; a rugby tournament at the Garrison Savannah; and workshops at local schools, halls, and churches.

 Gospel Festival                                    May

In late May gospel singers and groups from around the world arrive on the island to take part in one of the greatest festivals of its kind – Gospelfest.  The island is alive with some of the most exciting, soul stirring music in the world.  From solo singers to massive choirs, from new voices to established stars, no matter what your spiritual beliefs Gospelfest will send a shiver down your back and put a song in your heart.

Crop Over Festival                                    July – August

Crop Over Festival takes place in July and August.  Celebrating the final harvest of the sugar cane, Crop Over begins early in the season and culminates in August when the crop is over.  “Calypso tents” throb to the music of calypsonians competing for the Calypso Monarch award.  The Bridgetown Market street fair is filled with Bajan delicacies and celebrations and festivities take over the whole island.  The crowning of the King and Queen of the crop is a regal highlight, while on “Kadooment Day” costumed bands fill the streets by day and fireworks fill the skies by night.

NIFCA                                                September

November 30 is Independence Day in Barbados and the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts takes place throughout the month.  Bajans of all ages match their talents in music, performing and visual arts, poetry, and writing with final exhibitions and performances taking place on the last day of the month as the island celebrates its Independence.