Haitian Carnival (Creole: Kanaval, French: Carnaval) is a celebration held over several weeks each year leading up to Mardi Gras. Haitian Defile Kanaval is the Haitian Creole name of the main annual Mardi Gras carnival held usually in Port-au-Prince, but for some times now in the main cities of Haiti.
Carnival is a tradition that dates back to antiquity, so long ago that its original form and the original conditions under which it was born ... While its words concern a wife who does not know how to wash and iron and is sent back home, its true meaning was clear to all.
Carnival in Haiti is a time for people to assemble to parade, sing, dance, amuse themselves, let go; a time when society accepts any and almost all kinds of behavior. Coming as it does before Lent, a time for penitence and sacrifice, people traditionally used holiday - three days long in Haiti since a decree of President Stenio Vincent during the first U.S. occupation - to release inhibitions and satisfy pent-up desires so they could avoid temptation later.
Rara is a form of festival music that originated in Haiti, that is used for street processions, typically during Easter Week. ... In the Dominican Republic, the music is often played by the Afro-Dominican population as a cultural tribute to their African ancestors in the same manner as their counterparts in Haiti.
Rara is Haitian festival music played with drums, maracas, and bamboo trumpets, which are known as vaksen. Until recently, the music was always played by men. That changed when Dieuvela Etienne bucked tradition and formed the group that is now called Symbi Roots, the all-female rara troupe.
Symbi Roots is photographed here by Ludwig Borgella during their performance in honor of Haitian women at our first edition of Gala des Femmes en Flammes, our signature event.
Simbi (also Sim'bi) is a large and diverse family of serpent in Haitian Vodou. Some prominent Simbi Loa include Simbi Dlo (also Simbi d'l'eau - Simbi of the Water), Simbi Makaya, Simbi Andezo (Simbi of Two Waters), and Gran Simba. Traditionally in their Kongo context they are all associated with water, but in the Haitian Vodoun context they have wide ranging associations. For example, Simbi Makaya is a great sorcerer, and served in particular in the Sanpwel secret society, Simbi Anpaka is a Loa of plants, leaves, and poisons.