Date of festival: : Held for a week in February or March
Celebrated at: : Ponce, Puerto Rico
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The Ponce Carnival (locally known as Carnaval de Ponce) is one of the oldest carnivals held in the western hemisphere. The week long festival occurs in the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lent season for Catholics. During these celebrations, local artists and musicians showcase their talents while entertaining the audiences thoroughly!
The Ponce Carnival is famous for its masquerade themed celebrations, with parades and dances entertaining the onlooking crowds. The most recognizable part of the parade is the Vejigantes, a masked depiction of the devil beating a drum and striking guests in the crowd.
The carnival has a theme for every day of the parade, with a different set of activities planned for the day in accordance with the theme. It ends with the burial of Sardine, with attendees having to sing a Spanish song to commemorate the end of the festivities.
Fun things to do: : Attend the Vejigantes Party, wear a mask, attend the Burial of the Sardine ritual and sing the song of the same name