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Bonaire
Events and Fests
Bonaire’s events and fests are a manifestation of the island’s influence from Spanish, Dutch and even American origins, as well as its neighboring countries, and its rich marine diversity. All year-round, Bonaire hosts numerous water sports events that attract both professional and amateur participants to this pristine destination kissed by the sun and blessed by its trade winds and natural beauty.




JANUARY

Mascarade
Celebrated on January 1st, “mascarada” is a celebration of Spanish influence, taken from the 16th- early 17th century when courts gave dance balls wearing colorful masks. During this day, Bonerians fully disguised visit the Governor’s house and are welcomed with a bottle of rum. Skits are held around the island representing a matador and a bull, a fisherman and a fish and a donkey and a goat, to the sound of music played with traditional Spanish instruments such as the guitar and the drums. This celebration goes until the following Sunday, when participants reveal their identity by uncovering their disguised faces in public.


JANUARY - FEBRUARY


Carnival
Just like in Aruba and Curaçao, Carnival is a long-lasting festivity in Bonaire. It starts in January with numerous celebrations and representative parades that go over late February or March. The Tumba festival takes place during the Carnival celebrations, with its characteristic dance accompanied by drums to set up the festive mood in the island.

MARCH & APRIL

Easter
During Easter, a celebration of Spanish influence by its Catholic beliefs, Bonerian families traditionally spend these days connecting with nature by   “beach camping". This is a national holiday observed in the whole island. 


APRIL



Simadan (Harvest Festival)

This festival, unlike in other Caribbean islands, is celebrated for over a month, and this is due to the fact that slaves in the 18th century received land after the slavery abolition, so the crops they worked were for themselves instead of going to landlord. This is why the celebration is filled with joy, which manifests in the music, dances and food that are offered during these days.



Queen's Day Celebration
Every April 30th, Aruba and the Dutch Kingdom celebrate Queen Beatrix’s birthday. Several activities are held on this day, such as sports events and competitions, family celebrations and kite flying contests.  From next year on and due to the Queen’s abdication this year, King’s Day will be celebrated instead on April 27th to honor Prince Willem-Alexander, the queen's eldest son and successor.



Dia di Rincon

Along with the Queen’s Day celebration, Bonaire pays homage to its cultural heritage of harvest, traditional dances, music and food. Rincon is the island’s oldest town, founded by the Spanish on the 16th century. This celebration is so important and representative of the Bonerian pride that even visitors from neighbor islands join them for the celebrations.



JUNE

Bonaire Dive Festival
A two-week lasting event, the Dive Festival in Bonaire is devoted to diverse marine activities with special attention to draw awareness on the protection of the coral reefs and marine ecosystems around the world.



JULY



Feasts of San Juan and San Pedro

Other festivals of Spanish Catholic influence are Dia di San Juan, Dia di San Pedro & San Pablo, which are closely related and are a praise to these Saint Patrons for granting Bonerians good conditions for a good harvest and the safe return of its fishermen from the sea. Saint John feasts are celebrated on the 24th and Saint Peter & Saint Paul on the 29th. Serenades, dances, and music are representative of these celebrations.


JULY - AUGUST


During these months, Bonaire offers numerous events at its heavenly beaches, including activities such as underwater photography, diving, Summer camps, and more.

SEPTEMBER

Flag Day
Every September 6TH, Bonaire celebrates its flag day, with many events around the island. The local authorities give speeches and ceremonies during this day, while the people organize typical dances seasoned with food and drinks.


OCTOBER


Bonaire International Sailing Regatta
During a whole week in October, a variety of sailing boats from over the world can be spotted in the coast of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. This event is full of competitions, including other disciplines such as windsurfing and freestyle competitions.


DECEMBER


Bari Festival Period
As a grateful reminder of all of the present year’s events, Bonaire celebrates the Bari Festival every December 1st, and its name derives from the beating of the Bari (drums) upon which the celebrations revolve, accompanied with merry dances, local typical food and drinks.