Annual Carnival festivities have been scheduled to take place in Port-au-Prince from Sunday, February 23, through Tuesday, February 25. The lead-up to Carnival usually involves several weeks of parties and other culturally related gatherings throughout the month of February. The 2020 celebrations are likely to be a plenty due to the lack of celebrations in 2019 due to anti-governmental protests.
As such, increased congestion at travel hubs, increased demand for hotels (and higher prices), and increased car traffic in the city (closed roads, affluence of revelers) are to be anticipated, along with business and government service disruptions. Additional details concerning the events are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, rates of petty (and more violent) crime tend to rise considerably during the carnival period; increased security measures are to be anticipated.
Haiti's carnival season typically starts in mid- to late-January. The festive period will extend over several weeks culminating in the Rara celebration, which takes place over Lent (February 14 - March 29). Port-au-Prince's annual February carnival celebrations have been some of the largest Mardi Gras festivities in the Caribbean and North America. Rara is a unique Haitian celebration that is separate from the main pre-Lent carnival celebrations. The festivities and music have roots in peasant Easter celebration customs, and Rara is often referred to as "voodoo taken on the road."
Individuals in Haiti are advised to exercise an increased level of vigilance regarding crime and to allow for additional time to reach destinations during the carnival period.
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