Carnival Day in Saint Martin and Sint Maarten
Saint Martin is a part of the Leeward Islands located in the Caribbean Sea. It is actually composed of two separate countries, with a French side called Saint-Martin and a Dutch side known as Sint Maarten. This accounts for the reason why there are two separate Carnival celebrations on the island.
Carnival Day is observed on the French side beginning in February and ending in March. Carnival is observed on the Dutch side beginning in the middle of April and ending at the beginning of May. The exact dates of both Carnival celebrations may vary from one year to the next, depending on how the weekends fall.
The History of Carnival Day
In 1969, the first Carnival was held on the island. Since its original inception, it has been used to celebrate various holidays across the island. In Sint Maarten, it used to be held on St. Maarten’s Day on November 11th, but that was changed in the 1970s. Now in Sint Maarten, it is observed around Queen Juliana’s birthday, and in St. Martin, it is observed just before Lent.
Important Facts About Saint Martin
St. Martin/St. Maarten is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in the Caribbean. It is also one of the most popular ones as well. And that is not surprising, considering just how interesting this island is.
To illustrate what this island has going for it, we have decided to list some of the fun and interesting facts we have learned about this island below. Hopefully, the following nuggets of information are educational to everyone reading about Carnival Day.
- It has a large number of beaches.
- It has more restaurants per square mile than any other Caribbean destination.
- It has the oldest officially open border in the world. It has been open since the Treaty of Concordia in 1648.
- This is the smallest landmass in the world that is shared by more than one nation.
- For over four centuries, salt was the main source of income for St. Maarten.
- Saint Maarten’s national bird is the brown pelican, and its national flower is yellow sage.
Observing Carnival Day
It is almost impossible to list all of the celebrations that are held on either side of the island during Carnival Day. On the French side of the island, there are huge parades down Grand-Case and Marigot streets.
There are also reggae and Zouk performances from both local and international bands. On the Dutch side of the island, there is a 17-day-long celebration that is full of parades, festivals, and other activities.