Caribbean

The Vejigantes steal the show in Ponce, PR.

With the exception of a few other Caribbean islands, this spectacular type of Devil mask is unique in the world of mask design.

Even though these masks have a long snout and lots of big horns, they are made of paper mache which is light weight and comfortable to wear. Vejigantes characters carry blown-up cow bladders with which they make sounds and hit people throughout the processions. The crazy antics of these guys make them the most popular feature at the parades and other events.

The Carnaval de Ponce is an annual celebration that lasts one week and ends on the day before Ash Wednesday. Thus, it is generally held in February and sometimes in March. It is one of the oldest carnivals of the Americas, coinciding with the Mardi Gras of New Orleans, the Carnival of Venice and Rio de Janeiro.

Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. It is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection… but it also a time for great celebrations and big parties.

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