The Dominican Carnival is one of the most colorful traditions and more cheerful festivities in the Dominican Republic.
Where all of the Dominican people come together in the city streets to dance, share and delight in a celebration of joy.
The apex of the experience takes place during the final days of February, although it is celebrated on every weekend of February and, in some case, until the beginning of March. There are other dates on which certain towns celebrate other carnivals, but none match the intensity, enthusiasm and creativity that have become the cornerstones of the February Carnival that is loved by the entire nation.
One of the main Carnival traditions involves the attires and costumes worn by those who celebrate it; a varied hybrid from region to region that mixes elements of African tradition and European styled fabrics. The most popular costume, known as the diablo cojuelo, consists of a brightly colored layered suit covered with small mirrors and bells and worn with a devil mask, usually with many horns and teeth. The Dominican Carnival has had a great tradition since its beginnings during colonial times, when the citizens of Santo Domingo would dress up on the eve of Christian Lent in order to celebrate their religious beliefs.
Although costumes and music were around since the 16th century, the Carnival became even more popular after the patriotic victory of February 27, 1844 the day when the Dominican Republic gained its independence.