Carnival in Uruguay

Carnival is huge in Montevideo. In fact it’s the biggest of the lot going on for over 40 days. It starts at the end of January/start of February with a good ol’ parade. The best place always for dates for Montevideo carnival is the Government’s culture website, After the initial parade there will be a couple of further parades featuring the Uruguayan style of drumming known as candombe as well of teams of dancers and performers. These two days are incredible and known as desfile de llamadas in spanish. In addition to this there will be smaller parades going through a different neighbourhood each night with different floats and activities. These are more of a family-orientated fayre.

The other major activity is theatre, arriving in the shape of murgas, parodistas and humoristas. There will be many different venues offering these activities, which will always be some mix of comedy, performance and music, during carnival. The reason the carnival lasts for 40 days is because each theatrical group has to perform on every tableta (which is an outdoor stage) in Montevideo to be judged for the prize. As every neighbourhood has a tableta this can take a while, especially with the fact that if it rains the performances will be postponed til the next day, meaning that some carnivals don’t actually finish until closer to May!

Montevideo Carnival 2010

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