Carnival Traditions - Cabo Verde

Carnival in Cabo Verde!

It's carnival time.... in Cabo Verde! Mindelo, located on the island of Sao Vicente 517 miles off the coast of West Africa, boasts Cape Verde's most famous carnival. Steeped in Brazilian flair, the festivities and costumes are as electrifying and flamboyant as the music that drives them.

That, mixed with an ever present array of kings, queens, youngins, ballerinas, witches and so on....dancing/ singing to rhythm of drum & samba...Portuguese flavour favoring blue sky....creole (kriol) spoken ....makes for feast of the eyes.

About Cabo Verde The Cape Verdes (now officially known as Cabo Verde) are an arrow-shaped archipelago of ten islands, five islets and various rocks and stacks that poke out of the eastern Atlantic on a band of latitude that runs between Senegal in the east and the Caribbean, 3,600km to the west. Cabo Verde's natural history and economy to a profound degree are shaped by a combination of winds (Saharan) and currents that bring heat and cool, dust, dryness and the occasional monsoon to the islands. Drought is the key to everything and, as the Cabo Verdeans say, 'the best governor is rain.' The capital Praia, on the island of Santiago, has a population of about 135,00 which contains a quarter of the entire population of all ten islands. Everyone speaks Crioulo, an Africanised Creole Portuguese. Portuguese (the official language) is spoken fluently by townspeople but is not well understood in outlying villages. Everything official and everything written is in Portuguese. Tourism has recently become an increasing money maker, however bananas are the chief and most important export.

Fish is a huge food source for locals and visitors alike. Fresh tuna, octopus, lobster and a wide array of other oceanic delicacies are available all year round but predominantly in the warmer months. A specialty of C.V. is cachupa, a hearty dish that comes in two varieties: poor-man's cachupa (boiled maize, beans, herbs, cassava, sweet potato) and rich-mans cachupa (the same but with chicken, pork, and/or fish). The drink that Cabo Verdeans live and breathe for is grogue. The sole ingredient being sugarcane, which arrived with the slaves from mainland Africa. The popular liquor is distilled by first putting the cane through a press known as a trapiche. This large machine traditionally made from wood and driven by oxen or mules, is fed sugarcane through its heavy metal rollers. Sugar syrup runs out and is collected in large wooden barrels where it is allowed to ferment for five to ten days. No water is added, and neither is yeast – there is enough naturally occurring in the cane. The fermented syrup is boiled for about and hour where at that point it runs through a curly pipe cooled by water, and the clear distilled spirit starts to flow.....

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