Bon Bini Festival
Near the clock tower on Zoutmanstraat, Oranjestad
Small admission fee
This festival is held every Tuesday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the outdoor courtyard of the Ft. Zoutman Museum. Bon Bini is Papiamento for "welcome," and this tourist event is the Aruba Institute of Culture and Education's introduction to all things Aruban. Stroll by the stands of island foods, drinks, and crafts, or watch entertainers perform Antillean music and folk dancing.
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is welcomed with midnight fireworks to ward off evil spirits, while wandering minstrels serenade houses and hotels.
The Dande Stroll
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Groups of musicians known as the Dande stroll from house to house singing good luck greetings for the new year. The best Dande song receives a prize and is sung by islanders during the next 12 months.
Carnival means weeks of events that bring you colorfully decorated floats, vibrant music, costumed groups of revelers of all ages, King & Queen elections, electrifying jump ups and torch light parades that wind their way through the streets at night. There are the Children's Parades and finally the Grand Parade.
Where else can you find Antillean "tumba" music, the Calypso and steel bands of the English Caribbean, the salsa beat of Latin countries plus marching bands and a smattering of Dutch oom-pa-pa? The 2 month long celebration culminates with the all day Grand Parade on Sunday, with everyone all decked out.
Just when you think it is all over, there's the Farewell Parade and the burning of Momo, indicating the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lent. Symbolically, Momo's ashes are used on Ash Wednesday.
National Anthem and Flag Day
March 18, an official holiday.
End of April with a carnival and jazz bands.
Latin American Film Festival
An exhibition of works by Latin American film makers, which usually takes place during the last week in May. Most of the films are in Spanish with English sub-titles. Some are in English.
Hi-Winds Pro-Am Windsurfing Competition
Held at Eagle Beach in June.
The Harvest Festival of Dera Gai
In late June, there's the harvest festival of Dera Gai - it used to involve the burying of a rooster, but in modern times a gourd is substituted.
Jazz and Latin Music Festival
For five nights each June, authentic jazz and Latin music is performed at the outdoor arena next to the Aruba Sonesta Resorts at Seaport Village.
Aruba Music Festival
First week in June, annually. Concert series features top jazz, rhythm and blues, and contemporary Latin performers.
International Dance Festival
Each October, dance companies from the Carribean, the United States and Europe conduct and participate in lectures, demonstrations and exhibitions.
International Theater Festival
Every other October, theater groups from around the world perform 45-70 minute shows at the Cas di Cultura.
Sint Nicolaas Day (5 December)
This is a Dutch tradition: Sint Nicolaas is a Santa Claus figure who arrives with his helpers who assist him as he distributes candy and gifts to children gathered in Oranjestad.
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