An Early Start To Barranquilla’s Carnival Celebrations

As soon as Christmas decorations are stored away, most Barranquilleros start thinking about only one thing: Carnival. They begin to craft their costumes, rehearse the dances and plan for the best way to live and enjoy the festivities that take place all over town.

The real Carnival celebrations don’t start for another four weeks. But since this is serious business; all kinds of announcements about themes, queens & kings, and rehearsals, began popping out all over the place this week. Just yesterday, we got to watch El Bando de Antaño (the parade of yesteryear), which marks the beginning of pre-Carnival festivities.

Bando de Antaño, Barranquilla's Carnival 2012 (Colombia)
This year, El Bando de Antaño took place on San Sebastian’s day (January 20th), the traditional date for the beginning of the festivities. It payed homage to Barranquilla‘s Carnival queens of 1987 and 1962. Since the purpose of this event is to bring back memories of past celebrations, there were also many classic cars on show in the parade.

Bando de Antaño, Barranquilla's Carnival 2012 (Colombia)
The parade ends with the Lectura del Bando, the traditional reading of the carnival proclamation. It is a statement that proclaims that everyone must enjoy themselves, dance and party wildly. Amen to that!

For more information about Barranquilla’s Carnival celebrations, you can check the official website. And watch the video below for a little taste of what this year’s Bando de Antaño sounded and felt like.

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Hi there! I'm Bianca, a former nomad with a burning passion for travel. I am now based in the Netherlands, where I live with my partner and young daughter. After traveling for almost 4 years straight, I still love to explore new places any time I have a chance, on my own or with my family. For more, check the About me section.

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  • Wow, it sounds like a non-stop fiesta! I imagine the city’s prepping for Carnival again this January–will you be there to experience it?

    • Hi Cassandra! Yes, as soon as the new year rolls around people already start to prepare for Carnival here, there are so many events happening between now and February 10th that I wonder how people get any work done :) Unfortunately, I have to be in Argentina by early February; so chances are I’ll miss it AGAIN this year :( It’s becoming hopeless for me…

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