The Official List of the committee members for the 2017 Haiti Carnival has been selected and made official.
The National Carnival 2017 will take place in Les Cayes on the 26th, 27th and 28th of February. The theme: "N'ap Danse, N'ap Konstwi"
The list of the members is as folllows:
1) Claudel Dumas, President ;
2) Serge Chery, Vice-president ;
Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, the Catholics in Italy started the tradition of holding a wild costume festival right before the first day of Lent. In the olden days, Catholics were not supposed to eat meat during Lent and they called their festival, "carnevale" -- which means "to put away the meat." Gradually this practice became popular and the practice spread to France, Spain, and all the Catholic countries in Europe. With the European colonial powers or where the European Catholics entered into the slave trade, the carnival took root and thus the practice came to the Americas and other parts of the world. Important to Caribbean and Haitian festivals are the practice of African traditions where people parade and move in circles through villages in costumes and masks, because they believe circling the village bring good fortune, heal problems, chill out angry relatives who had died and passed into the next world. They use the feathers on masks and headdresses as a symbol of ability to overcome problems, illness, pains, heartbreaks, to grow spiritually and reborn to a new better life. Their drums and music traditions have also transformed the early carnival celebrations in the Americas.
Haitian Minister of Culture, Josette Darguste awarded the winners of National Carnival, 2013 during the award ceremony held at Ibo Lele hotel. The award ceremony was marked by the presence of President Michel Martelly along with Sophia Martelly (his wife), Minister of Tourism, Stéphanie Villedrouin. Various other big-shot personalities were also present at the award ceremony. The three winners of the National Carnival were:
• Anbyans - received the 'Award of originality in the creation'.
• Djakout #1 - received the 'Award of best popular animation'.
• Orchestre Septentrional - received the 'Award of the perfomance'.
The winners were awarded with USD 15,000 check each. The groups Barikad, Zatrap, Team Lobey, T-Micky and T-vice were awarded with medals while Fils, Vorbes and NATCOM were awarded with certificates for the invaluable support they provided to National Carnival Cap-Haitien 2013.
Haitians consider Carnival the onset of one of the most sacred periods of the year. It precedes Mardi Gras, celebrated on the last day of the festival, which leads into Lent, a period of fasting and atonement.
Mardi Gras is also called Fat Tuesday, symbolized by consuming all forms of fat. Succeeding Mardi Gras is Ash Wednesday, which initiates the Lenten season in the Roman Catholic Church. Fasting and avoidance of meat characterize Lent. Carnival, in this light, can be looked upon as the final chance to feast, drink, and dance with abandon.
Carnival in Haiti can be likened to Christmas in the U.S. and Northern European countries. The Yuletide season encourages celebrations of music, food, and traditional entertainment events. Carnival is not only a coming together of many cultures; it is also an engine of economic wealth for Haiti, whose sources of revenue are limited.
Haiti's Carnival has a dark side when it comes to music played during its annual celebration . At the festival, revelers respond to messages contained within song lyrics, and what they suggest sometimes makes the government of Haiti (GOH) uneasy. Some songs encourage festival celebrants to act out their resentment at the GOH.
During Carnival '97, the monster hit of music group Koudjay, "Si Yo Vle", urged Haitians to hang amoral politicians then in power. In response, many symbolic hangmen's nooses whirled above the crowd. Although the GOH refrained from commenting on the song, they responded with a direct show of force. Forty SWAT officers were deployed to brandish their semi-automatic rifles at the crowd with gestures that intended serious injury.
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