It’s almost that time of the year again…for The Cayman Islands Carnival – Batabano! Launched in 1983 by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Cayman Carnival Batabano is held annually during the first week of May – and is in no doubt one of the main events in the island’s entertainment calendar.
Carnival in general, is a major cultural celebration in the Caribbean, with music, dance and elaborate costumes, that are designed to reflect the heritage and culture of the Islands. Carnival in the Cayman Islands is even more distinct that others around the Caribbean, with it being home to over 100 different nationalities; it is in effect one country celebrating its many different cultures.
During carnival, different regions of the Island and corporate groups join together to compete and display their creatively designed costumes, choreography and floats, and every year thousands of locals and visitors flock the streets to enjoy this spectacle. One group is triumphant most years – Swankys, and no wonder, as it is the biggest group to take part every year, and always has a variety of different costumes and colors to choose from. It is also the first one to have all of its costumes sell out!
After having taken part in Batabano last year, I cannot recommend it highly enough, and I have already signed up to take part in the carnival again this year – with Swankys!
If you are contemplating about participating in Batabano this year, all I can say is do it! Although the costumes for Swankys have now sold out, there are a lot of other groups that take part, such as Lime and Fresh Carnival. There are thousands of people out on the streets participating in every aspect of the carnival, with a party atmosphere that cannot be beaten.
With the costumes, choreography and festivities becoming more elaborate each year, Cayman Carnival Batabano is a much-anticipated event. It is a time to celebrate local surroundings, showcase creativity, and of course, a time to party and all come together – and let’s face it there’s nothing like a great party to bring the Island together!