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Aruba's 64th Carnival Celebration

Aruba Carnival history

With its contagious music and electrifying vibe, Carnival is Aruba’s biggest party of the year —and you’re invited!

Aruba's 64th Carnival Celebration

Aruban Carnival

Our Carnival is a high-energy month-long celebration of pageants, music competitions, street parties and spectacular parades, delighting and uniting the entire country. All year long, locals look forward to the catchy road march and calypso tunes, the throbbing sound trucks, the glittering costumes, the magnificent floats, the Carnival queen coronations and the hip-shaking madness. Wanna join us? We’d love it if you joined in any of our exciting Aruba Carnival events!

Carnival is celebrated in many countries around the world as a festival to usher in Lent, but this is how it all began in Aruba: Carnival was born in 1954 as a series of small street festivals. The Tivoli Club, Aruba’s oldest private social club, was the first to have a celebration before the start of Lent in Oranjestad in February 1944. The Allied victory of World War II was commemorated by a large parade in San Nicolas, comprised largely of Caribbean-English immigrants who came to Aruba to work at the Lago Oil Refinery. The first steel and brass bands debuted a few years later and small parades sprouted here and there.

In 1955, various clubs and districts were brought together for the first public Aruba Carnival with the first official Carnival queen. The traditional Grand Parades were organised in 1957. On November 11, 1966 (11.11.66), at 11:11 am, Stichting Arubaanse Carnaval, the Carnival organisational body, was founded. Every year the Carnival season officially begins at this precise moment. Ever since 1981, Tivoli has produced the Lighting Parade, a twinkling nighttime extravaganza.

As well as the Lighting Parade, thousands of participants and spectators enjoy Children’s Parades, the Jouvert Morning Pyjama Party, the Grand Carnival Parade in San Nicolas and the exciting finale — the Grand Carnival Parade in Oranjestad. The midnight burning of King Momo, a life-sized effigy, signals the end of the Aruba Carnival season on Shrove Tuesday, the day just before Ash Wednesday. This tradition symbolises the burning of the Spirit of Carnival, who will rise again when the next season starts — and with it, a whole new round of partying!

Join Aruba's Most Colourful Celebration

The San Nicolas Lighting Parade is an official Aruba Carnival parade.

If you want to experience a colourful celebration like no other, visit the island during Aruba Carnival season. During Carnival in Aruba, you will experience the bright spirits of our local community first hand. Once you see the creative costumes and hear the catchy music, you will instantly understand why Aruba is the happiest island on earth.

Mural of peacock in San Nicolas

Art in Aruba

Aruba’s culture comes alive in the spirited rhythms, art and dance that fill our streets, homes, galleries and hearts.

Aruba Music - Caribbean tunes
Nightlife in Aruba
People having a great time upon the Kukoo Kunuku party bus.
Arubas' Party Bus
View of the Hooiberg from top of the Casibari Rock Formation
Sightseeing Tours in Aruba
Baby and Rodger's Beach signage.

Getting Around Aruba

From our lively capital to quiet seaside towns, pristine beaches to rugged desert, it’s easy to get around in Aruba.


Featured Activities

Pool area at resort.


Talk of the Town

Front side view of T.H. Palm & Company store in Aruba.


T.H. Palm & Company

Woman at the Mandara spa checking the jacuzzi temperature in Aruba.


Mandara Spa Aruba

We’re just getting started with the amazing effects Aruba has to offer. Dig into your trip details below to unlock a Caribbean experience that will leave you sunnier, happier, and (of course) a little more tanned.

Discover the Aruba Effect