Curacao, of course, like other countries, has a number of holidays each year. They obviously celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve, for example, but what other holidays do they have in Curacao? And when are these holidays? Below are some of Curacao’s holidays that you should really go celebrate there!
Although Carnival is a well-known festival celebrated in North Brabant and Limburg, a lot of people in the Netherlands do not know Carnival. This is a celebration with all kinds of beautiful or colorful costumes, parades and lots of music and dancing. In the southern Netherlands it is celebrated with lots of candy for the children and especially going out for young adults, but with Curacao it is not quite the same. Carnival in Curacao is a special and unique experience, especially the carnival parades! You can see all kinds of beautiful costumes where a lot of work has been put into them.
During Carnival, there is a 4-day music festival where the Tumba King or Queen is chosen. Tumba is the music associated with Carnival in Curacao and it is a combination of Latin American music with Caribbean instruments in it and great to dance to! There are a few other celebrations before Carnival’s big parade. These include the Jump-Ups, a parade where anyone can just participate without necessarily having to have a costume. They do often get shirts that they may decorate for in the parade. There are also many Jump-Ins, which is more of a party with live music (especially Tumba, of course) and lots of dancing.
Every year on July 2, the “Day of the Flag” is celebrated in Curacao. This is to celebrate that on this day in 1951 the Island Council of Curacao met for the first time. Many people hang out the flag on this day, and even on local TV, July 2 is almost all about this special day. There are also many activities to do on this day, including activities for children, sports competitions and various performances. Especially in the capital, Willemstad, there is more than enough to do on this day so be sure to visit for Flag Day! Beyond all the recreational activities, there are also a number of official ceremonies. These take place in the morning at Brionplein in Otrobanda and at Parke Himno i Bandere in Barber, which is located in the western part of Curacao.
On Oct. 10, 1499, the Caribbean island of Curacao was discovered for the first time by Alonso de Ojeda, an explorer from Spain. After this discovery, the Spaniards almost immediately invaded Curacao so they could capture Arawak Indians, the inhabitants of the island of Curacao, and transport them to keep them as slaves. More than a hundred years later, in 1634, the Dutch took control of Curacao. Here they especially used the harbor a lot, creating the city of Willemstad at one point. Trade flourished and this was also good for Curacao itself. When oil was discovered near Curacao in 1914, the Dutch used Curacao to build oil refineries here, so many immigrants were eager to come to Curacao and the population grew so tremendously. In the process, the port was perfect for shipping oil tankers and oil from South America to Curacao, then onward to Europe.
Although there was a movement for the independence of Curacao and other Caribbean islands after World War II, Curacao became the main island of five island groups under the Netherlands. These are known as the Netherlands Antilles. So Curacao has a long, unique history and this, along with their culture, they still celebrate today every year on Oct. 10. On this day, you can find various cultural events all over the island. Also, you don’t have to worry about going hungry, as there are native dishes everywhere that you can fill up on! The Day of Curacao is a holiday you really must have experienced!
In Curacao, of course, people also celebrate Christmas and this is something you really must have experienced once! In the Netherlands every year it is incredibly cold in winter, although of course you can drink delicious Glühwein at Christmas markets. If you celebrate Christmas in Curacao, it’s a completely different experience! Instead of snow or rain and lots of wind, in Curacao you actually have beautiful beaches and the sun shines instead of being so cold! Also, you can still just enjoy cocktails here during the holidays.
As a result, more and more Dutch people are choosing to celebrate Christmas on Curacao rather than in the Netherlands. In Curacao, Christmas is celebrated in the same, traditional way we do in the Netherlands. The family gathers and delicious food is enjoyed. Some of the dishes people eat here at Christmas include ayaka (this is meat or chicken in cornmeal dough folded in banana leaves), pan di jamón (this is Christmas bread with ham) and a drink called ponche crema (this is a kind of eggnog).
Although Curacao itself does not grow Christmas trees, due to its climate, yet plenty of Curacao residents have a pine tree in their home that they decorate with colorful lights. For example, at Brionplein, in Willemstad, a giant Christmas tree is decorated with pink and white lights. In the process, they also illuminate the famous Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge, so you will really notice a wonderful Christmas atmosphere! In Curacao, people also decorate many gardens with lights, even making it a little bit of a competition to create the most beautiful Christmas garden in Curacao. It is also immediately apparent from this that people live outside a lot in Curacao, because so much attention is paid to Christmas decorations outside. In fact, there are also properties on the island that, like the gardens, are completely decorated with lights. Thanks to all this, Christmas on Curacao is an unforgettable experience that you really should experience for yourself!
And while you’re on one of these beautiful holidays in Curacao, we recommend a day trip to the beautiful uninhabited island of Klein Curacao. We at Curacao Trips would love to take you on this beautiful adventure.