Carnaval in Barranquilla

There are some beautiful parades to watch during the Carnaval in Barranquilla, but most of the fun is in the participation.  The Gran Parada has fences up to block you from participating in the streets with the people of the parade.  In general, it’s a spectator event.  It’s an amazing, high paced, and beautiful spectator event, but still, a spectator event.  I think, however, the greatest attribute of this spectacular festival is interacting with the beautiful people of Colombia.  I had written a previous article on how warm and fun-loving the people are in Colombia.  This comes out in spades during  their festivals.  I’m sure this will be evident in the pictures that follow.

Marcello (The Wandering Trader) and I were hanging out in front of the massive Joe Arroyo statue (he’s a minor god in this city, and a famous salsa singer, he’s even on the beer cans here.  Yes he’s that big.)  There was this little girl spraying her mom and cousin with foam.  This happens to be a common Carnaval in Barranquilla activity.  Marcello decided that he was going to have some fun, so he bought a can of foam to start a little war.  I don’t think we knew what we were getting into.  This girl had limitless energy, and a vengeful spirit.  The above was the aftermath of our sneak attack.

Lina, with all her rage and hate, bringing swift vengeance and justice to her attackers.  If her mom hated us for bringing out the little hellion in her girl, she sure didn’t seem to mind.  Like the vast majority of Carnaval-goers she was just happy to see people having fun.

On Sunday we were at the Gran Parada.  In our group were yours truly, Marcello, Troy (an American friend,) his girfriend Yeiny, and our three Argentinean friends Belua, Mercedes, and Mau.  Our three Argentinean friends decided to jump the fence separating the masses from the parade.  You’d think that this would cause problems with la policia.  However, the police just came up, said stay safe, don’t fall, and have fun.  This created the opportunity for some dance moves with the paraders and general good-times ensuing.
  More fun being had by our Argentinean fence-jumpers with a band of drummers. 



During the course of the parade I became enamoured with a certain slave maid woman.  I mean how could you say no to this amazing woman?  I soon found out, however, that this was no woman.  Hiding under her dress was a large plastic penis.  Wow did I feel used and abused!  How could such a woman. . . be a man?!?


I love this close-up of a drummer with a big smile.  This picture was actually taken by accident.  Sometimes the best things in life aren’t planned.
Troy with an elaborate lion.  I love the look on Troy’s face.  I think he’d make a good lion.  Maybe next year.
Here is Marcello enjoying the nightlife with a Colombian friend. 

Of course the nights provide a whole different type of fun than the days. I mean the fun is still on the streets, but this time everyone is a part of it. Essentially think of thousands of people drinking, dancing, listening to/playing music in the streets. I know it’s hard to imagine, especially for my readers in Canada or the USA (outside of New Orleans of course,) because this sort of party is so foreign to us. In fact a party like this would result in hundreds of thousands in fines, and possibly arrests. Not in Colombia. Life is celebrated here on such a regular basis that it becomes infectious. Let this sort of infection spread through me, because it’s the way I want to live life. I read a quote yesterday that fits well here:

“Let’s embrace more of life, not less. Balanced people don’t change the world, and I’d rather spend my time feeling worn out from meaningful activities” -Chris Guillebeau author of The Art of Non-Conformity (P.S. It’s a great book.)


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