Colorful costumes at Carnival in Barranquilla, Colombia
Colombia, Festivals

Carnaval de Barranquilla in 40 Weird and Wonderful Photographs

You know those experiences in life that just seem to transcend any sort of written or verbal explanation? I’m sure you’re familiar–they leave you dumbfounded, stuttering like a fool (or staring blankly at a computer screen) at even the slightest attempt to translate your feelings into words.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, never fear!  Your turn to sputter incomprehensibly will come soon enough.

Well, Carnaval de Barranquilla was one of those experiences for me.  In the weeks following those wild and frenetic days in mid-February, I’ve failed time and again to express to family and friends exactly what I saw that weekend.  I’m sure this is in part due to the fact that I’m still not entirely sure what the heck I DID see.

The fantastical, whimsical, often frightening costumes we encountered varied wildly, sometimes depicting the characters of local folklore (all of which I had intentions of Googling after the fact, but never did…oops) while others were simply embellished and brightly colored for the sake of it.

We were repeatedly ambushed with fistfuls of corn flour or spray cans of sticky, sloppy foam.  We danced from street to street, party to party, bar to bar.  We likely couldn’t have escaped the party if we’d tried.  I shaved a few years off my life.  Probably damaged my hearing.  The city was on fire, and we were the Aguardiente-soaked kindling.

But.

I’ll stop there.  I’d sooner let my photos do the talking for me than fail yet again at conveying the magic we experienced at Carnaval de Barranquilla.  It deserves better than that, and frankly, so do you.

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This festival exceeded my expectations in every way.  What’s the best festival you’ve attended on your travels?

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