Colorful costumes are a standard feature of Ponce’s Carnival parade.
The modern parade also features dance troops and a variety of live music. The Ponce Carnival is so famous throughout Puerto Rico that people come from all over the island to watch, celebrate, and participate.
Smartly dressed children show off their dance moves at the Ponce Carnival.
The Carnival ends with a custom adopted in 1967 and originating in Spain, the Burial of the Sardine (El Entierro de la Sardina). This tradition dates back to the medieval ages and takes place on Fat Tuesday. The ceremony uses a symbolic, giant, mock sardine, with cross-dressing men as mourners. Histrionic weeping and many jokes accompany the burial.
The Ponce Carnival is special because it both preserves ancient traditions and demonstrates the creativity and innovative spirit of the Puerto Rican people. There are other seasonal celebrations throughout Puerto Rico, but Ponce reigns as the king of Carnival.