The Bijagós Carnival is the main celebration in Guinea-Bissau. The Carnival consists of an incredible mix of both African and Portuguese traditions.
The carnival takes on the greater force in the afternoon across the main regions of the archipelago, when masks of different participants from all the nearby regions begin to perform various presentations and parades.
Participants wearmasks of all kinds of themes and indoles, including homemade masks made of papier-mâché. The women who are part of the celebration wear small pearls made of glass and masks of various shapes and colors tied around their waists.
Carnivals in Bijagós take place a week before Lent, so the dates of the carnival could vary between February and March.
History of the Bijagós Carnival
Carnivals were brought to the nation through the colonizers coming from Portugal, which is why the culture of this country is linked together with several Portuguese traditions.
Carnivals used to be celebrated with strong European influences, however, when Guinea-Bissau achieved its independence in 1973, the carnival acquired a more national sense of its own.
Today, the Carnival in Guinea-Bissau, especially in Bijagós, is celebrated as a unique tradition in which both cultures and roots, the African and the Portuguese.Colors, costumes, dances and instruments peculiar to the country are incorporated, which is why the result is a celebration both peculiar and interesting.
Where is the Carnival of Bijagós?
Bijagós Carnival is celebrated in the small African country of Guinea-Bissau. The town of Bijagós is made up of 88 small islands where the carnival comes to life year after year, allowing the locals to dress up in traditional masks and costumes.