The main one is Carnival, on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday; it is not as commercialized as many in the Americas as it lacks the sponsorship of a carnival like Trinidad’s, but it is one of the most spontaneous and friendly.
Sensay costume has returned to the streets: layer upon layer of banana or cloth is used for the costume, a scary mask is worn over the face, usually with horns, and large platform clog boots finish the effect. Large quantities of beer are required for anyone who can wear this costume and dance the streets for several hours in the midday sun.
The Independence Folk Festival starts in late September running up to Independence Day in November. Independence celebrations (3/4 November) feature local folk dances, competitions, storytelling, music and crafts. On Créole Day, the last Friday in October, the vast majority of girls and women wear the national dress, ‘la wobe douillete’, to work and school and most shop, bank clerks etc speak only Créole to the public.
Domfesta, The Festival of the Arts, takes place during June and includes exhibitions by local artists (notably Kelo Royer, Earl Etienne, Arnold Toulon), concerts and theatre performances (see local papers, The Chronicle, The Independent or The Tropical Star, for details or ask at hotel.)
In October Dominica hosts the World Creole Music Festival, with Cadence, Zouk, Campa and Soukous. For information about any festivals contact the Dominica Festivals Commission, 23 Great Marlborough St, Roseau, T4484833, F4480229, d...@cwdom.dm
An annual Divefest is held in July, with lots of activities, races, underwater treasure hunts, cruises etc. Funds are being raised for a recompression chamber, contact the Watersports Association, T4482188, F4486088, d...@cwdom.dm During Carnival, laws of libel & slander are suspended.
Around the island villages hold their own festivals: Isidore in Grand Bay at Pentecost; Fête Marin (St Peter’s) in Portsmouth in June-July, as well as in Soufrière/Scott’s Head, Colihaut/Dublanc and Anse de Mai; St Theresa in Salisbury in October; St Anne in Mahaut on 26 July; St Géraud in St Joseph in October and Feast of La Salette in Point Michel in September.
1 January; Carnival; Good Friday and Easter Monday; first Monday in May; Whit Monday; first Monday in August; 3/4 November (Independence); Christmas Day and Boxing Day. 2 January is a merchant’s holiday, when all shops and restaurants are closed, although banks and hotels remain open; Government offices will in most cases not be open.