The “Real Mas” that is what Dominica’s carnival is called. It is an original old fashioned Caribbean Carnival. It is held at the traditional pre-Lenten time. In 2015 it is the 16th & 17th February. The month of February is a busy and enjoyable time in Dominica during the build up to Carnival, however, Carnival activities start about one month before Carnival Monday/Tuesday. Carnival involves two days of 'jump-up' in Roseau and other villages as well as parades, Calypso and Carnival Queen contests. Carnival starts with a grand opening parade and includes events such as Pan By the Bay, a Carnival Queen show, the Calypso Monarch Show and the two days of traditional jump-up, Carnival Monday & Carnival Tuesday.
St. Joseph, the village next to Layou, is well known for their Sensays and the Sensay parade. Sensay are costumed characters in full body costumes that are West-African in origin. Made of frayed rope, leaves and other material, it is always accompanied by a mask and often horns... quite a sight! St. Joseph has a parade of Sensays and Bwa Bwa dancers or stilt walkers. The Bwa Bwa dancers are amazing with the height they are at and the dance moves they do on the stilts.