Sometimes I shoot on an 80mm lens to help viewers of my photographs feel the moments as I experienced them. Caches of micro-minutiae. Stolen moments amplified in real time with sounds, light and stored away in my mind.
Kanaval is many things.
A crash course of colonial history, ancient religion and modern culture.
Kanaval is hot, sweaty, overwhelming.
It is also beautiful, exciting and vibrant.
I hope you can experience it at least once.
Haiti has a unique traditional carnival, Rara, that is separate from the main pre-Lent Kanaval celebrations. Rara processions take place during the day and sometimes at night during Lent, then culminate in a week-long celebration that takes place at the end of Lent, during the Catholic 'Holy Week', which includes the Easter holiday. Rara has its roots in Haiti's an deyò areas, the rural areas around Port-au-Prince. It is based on peasant Easter celebration customs. Rara celebrations include parades with musicians playing drums, tin trumpets, bamboo horns called vaksens, and other instruments. Parades also include dancers and costumed characters such as Queens (called renns), Presidents, Colonels, and other representatives of a complex rara band hierarchy, similar to the krewe organization of New Orleans Mardi Gras bands.
Kanaval celebrations end on Mardi Gras, which is French for 'Fat Tuesday', also known as Shrove Tuesday. Mardi Gras is the Tuesday before the Roman Catholic holiday known as Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, a somber period of fasting and penance that precedes Easter for Catholics.