Carnaval: Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Carnaval Domenicano is widely celebrated across the country, where some of the largest Carnival celebrations in the region take place, so no matter where you are in the country over the holiday you can expect a good time.

See the National Parade

Santa Domingo’s Carnival parade is the biggest in the country and across Latin America. Groups from all over the country travel to the capital to partake, so it presents a fascinating cross-section of all the different costumes and traditions from the island.

Visit different towns

Each local town or city has its own interpretation of Carnival and way of celebrating the holiday. Try to plan to visit a few different places to get different tastes of what the celebration in the Dominican Republic is like. Many festivities have a close local connection, too, because community groups and families that band together often are the parade and party organizers.

Learn the characters

Dominicans craft and wear elaborate costumes, including masks, which make the parades very visually entertaining. The celebration is considered a topsy-turvy event, so interesting figures appear. One of the most popular costumes is a limping devil, called Diablo cojuelo. Carnival has strong religious ties, and this representation is a satire of the devil. Other traditional figures who appear in Dominican Carnival festivities are a grim reaper figure and Roba la gallina that involves a men wearing dresses and pokes fun at how people historically stole chickens.

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Miranda Noland,

Miranda Noland is the Senior Photo Editor for She handles all the photo needs for the site and occasionally writes a thing or two. Growing up in a small town in Missouri, she collected (and hoarded) magazines and dreamed of working at one someday. She studied art and design at Drury University and moved to New York City after graduating. She loves being an aunt to her two nephews and has recently moved to be closer to them. She's a pop culture junkie who watches way too much television, and she still hoards magazines.