The music is back and so are the costumes. and dancing. This year, the eastern Caribbean Island, Dominica is holding three impressive festivals. After successful re-launches of World Creole Music Festival and Jazz N’ Creole Music Festival, “The Real Mas,” celebrating the African and French traditions with an explosion of music, art and dance will make its comeback February 20-21, 2023. This is the first time since the pandemic that all three of Dominica’s iconic festivals will be celebrated.
Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is the youngest Caribbean Island and the last to be colonized, earning its independence from the British on November 3, 1978. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean.
It’s easy to see why they call it “The Nature Island.” Its a place of unsurpassed natural beauty with romantic peaks and ravines, world-class diving, eco-trekking, and lazy afternoons on airy verandahs.
Dominica is also known for its colorful festivals, some of the best in the Caribbean. “We are thrilled to be able to bring back all three of our major festivals in 2023,” says Colin Piper, Discover Dominica Authority’s CEO/Director of Tourism. “Our festivals give visitors a firsthand look into the rich sights and sounds of our island, and we cannot wait to welcome tourists to this year’s events.”
Mas Dominik (Feb. 20-21)
To kick off Dominica’s festivals in 2023, Mas Dominik, dubbed “The Real Mas,” returns to the island on February 20 and 21. Mas Dominik is the ultimate Carnival celebration, showcasing the island’s African and French traditional roots through music, art and dance. The celebration begins in the early hours of J’ouvert morning and culminates with a burial ritual on Ash Wednesday, enticing visitors’ imagination while they experience the ultimate cultural intimacy with the most original carnival in the Caribbean.
Revelers from far and wide visit the island for this iconic, two-day event, often coming weeks before to enjoy the fetes leading up to Carnival Monday and Tuesday. The event is known for making Dominica a top cultural and festival tourism destination within the region, building cooperation and network capabilities in tourism, culture, and entertainment.
Dominica’s Jazz ‘N Creole (April 30)
Celebrating the island’s rich Creole influence and tradition, Jazz ‘N Creole is an iconic, family-friendly event held each year at Fort Shirley in the Cabrits National Park. The day-long event boasts a mix of jazz and Creole influenced music, food, and culture, showcasing the infusion of the jazz artform into the Creole culture of Dominica. And 2023 marks the 12th anniversary of the festival, with featured artists performing in front of visitors from around the world. The Jazz ‘N Creole mainstage event on Sunday, April 30th culminates a week of Jazz fringe activities held across the island.
World Creole Music Festival (October 27-29)
The World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) returns to the island October 27-29, 2023. WCMF symbolizes the distinct and unique flavor of the World’s Creole heritage and is part of Dominica’s independence activities each year. Internationally known for the unique mix of musical performances with the island’s beautiful tropical background, the festival features three days of live music ranging from Cadence-lypso, Kompa, Zouk, Soukous, Bouyon, Zydeco, and Afrobeat, among others.
For more information, or to explore the island’s wide range of hotel offerings available for these events, please visit www.DominicaFestivals.com or follow Dominica Festivals on Facebook. For more information on experiences and how to get there, visit www.discoverdominica.com. You won’t want to miss these sizzling hot festivals.
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