Carnival on Holbox
A happy colorful spectacle full of exuberance
The Carnival of Isla Holbox
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This extraordinary carnival parade takes place between the end of February and the beginning of March for a total of five days. The exact date is different every year and is fixed a few months before. Meanwhile, the carnival has become known as a real attraction, so that it also attracts many visitors from the surrounding villages and towns.
This year, the “Carnaval de Holbox” took place from February 17-21. How this spectacle took place, you can read in our detailed report “At the extraordinary carnival of Holbox 2023“.
When exactly the Carnival of Holbox 2024 will take place, we currently do not know. But looking at next year’s Easter dates that usually go along with it, we expect that the date for the Holbox Carnival could be a week earlier around Feb. 8-13, 2024. Please note that this is our personal estimate and we cannot guarantee that it is the final official date.
Preparation and Schedule of the Event
The parade is prepared and organized by the locals on Holbox themselves. Women of all ages dress up for it in groups in colorful costumes in the style of salsa dancers, Mayans, Aztecs or other motives. The new costumes created for each carnival are sewn throughout the year and must be paid for by the women themselves, which is a very large amount of money for the Mexican women living here.
The music comes mainly from the men, who organize themselves into small bands and follow the individual dance groups through the streets of the town on foot or in colorfully decorated vehicles. The route is not exactly fixed. One rather tries to meet the other groups as little as possible and still position oneself for the own performance halfway centrally near the main square.
Between the shows, the protagonists can take a little breather, because the numerous performances are extremely exhausting for them. The hotels and restaurants located here then provide the participants with plenty of food and drink during their tour. They also take care of any blisters on their feet and minor repairs to their costumes.
The performances take place from the afternoon until the late evening at different places in Holbox. Each group wears its own outfit according to the theme and has rehearsed a show of about ten to twenty minutes over many weeks, which is presented with full commitment and enthusiasm.
The Grand Finale
It is a loud, colorful celebration of joy and the good mood quickly spreads to the spectators. At the end, all the dance groups gather for the grand finale in the main square, where each group gives its best once again and the show reaches its absolute climax. After that, the party goes on until dawn.
If you spend your vacation on Holbox Island just at carnival time, you should not miss the spectacle. The locals look forward to this special event all year round and proudly present their costumes and choreographies with the highest commitment and corresponding exuberance until the early morning hours. For vacationers who are looking for peace and quiet, these nights can be a bit exhausting, especially near the center.