Pack your feathers and your sequins. Get your party face on. Let’s go! The good times are getting ready to roll in St. Maarten. It’s carnival time!
They’ve done this before. 44 times, in fact. 2014 is the 45th annual St. Maarten Carnival, and by now, according to many observers, they have perfected the party. This one lasts 24 days with all manner of celebration; however, the big pageants, concerts and parades (and food, always food) move into high gear on April 21st. The revelry culminates in a big parade April 30th and again on May 1 in downtown Phillipsburg (just a 15 minute walk from Divi Little Bay Resort). The festivities officially end when King Momo is burned on May 5.
Every Caribbean carnival has a King Momo, the fictional king of carnivals. Though he takes different forms depending on the island, he is universally flamboyant and powerful. Thank goodness, he comes and goes. After days and days of revelry, the burning of King Momo rids the island of its sins, leaving St. Maarten fresh and revived. We’ll say. You’ve probably noticed that the island’s tempo slows down a bit come May.
This year’s schedule of carnival events also includes some merry-making for another king, a real one – King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands. The Dutch kingdom around the world annually celebrates the royal birthday. This year is special because it’s the first to honor King Willem-Alexander, since his ascension to the throne last year. Pack an orange shirt, blouse, skirt, hat, pants or swimsuit, because donning the official color of the House of Orange is de riguer that day.
As for the other days during carnival – the fashion code is: the more festive the better. One of these years, I want to commission a costume (there are people in St. Maarten who work all year on designing and sewing them) and then reggae on down Front Street in the parade.
Who wants to join me? Divi’s 800# for Little Bay reservations is 800.367.3484.