Photo Post: Carnaval in Martinique

Just back from a trip to Martinique, where I surprised myself by loving the Carnaval parades!

We saw several smaller parades in the north of the country, but returned to the capital city Fort-de-France, for the devil parade. Everyone wore red and black—and while the best costumes were in the parade, the spectators did not disappoint. With all the flshnets, glitter, masks, wigs, and sequins, the overall effect was as if everyone in the country got tricked out for Pride…😍

I’m usually overstimulated by noise and overheated by lengthy parades, but with a pair of earplugs and a shady spot plus some hibiscus ginger juice spiked with Martinican rum, I let the costumes, music, and celebration wash over me.

There were tricked-out cars spray painted with incredible graffiti murals…as well as a few “Champions du Monde” humblebrags about France’s World Cup victory. Musicians played horns and drums, including some homemade bamboo instruments — one of the only places we saw the island’s massive bamboo being utilized.

We’d heard that everything shut down during Carnaval and while this was true, we were pleased to see the street vendors were out hawking everything from Martinican churros (called chichis) and banana beignets (the lovechild of sweet plantains and doughnuts) to traditional Breton crepes and kebabs. Beer and rum flowed freely, so we ate and drank well that night.

It seemed like everyone on the island who was under the age of 25 was out in the capital city, especially after the parade wound down and Martinicans started queueing at the ferry docks for a ride across the bay.

Here are a few of my favorite images from Martinique’s Carnaval.