Aruba’s culture is rich and vibrant. The island has many celebrations which are celebrated including holidays and festivals. Carnival is a parade and activity packed festive season beginning November 11th, for preparation, and ending with the last parade the weekend before Ash Wednesday. While Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas) arrives on December 5th, his birthday. Plus many more. Come to Aruba and celebrate with us.
Jan 1 – New Year’s Day
Jan 25 – Betico Croes Day
Mar 18 – National Anthem & Flag Day
Feb 27 – Carnival Monday
Apr 14 – Good Friday
Apr 17 – Easter Monday
Apr 27 – King’s Day
May 1 – Labor Day
May 25 – Ascension Day
Dec 25 – Christmas Day
Dec 26 – Boxing Day
Celebrations In Aruba
There are several celebrations that are not an official holiday, but that are still part of the cultural celebrations in Aruba. Music and garments play an important role in most cultural celebrations. Also check out our events section for more information about parties and activities during your stay.
Dera Gai – Annually on June 24th
A special festive song, bright yellow and red costumes and traditional dances highlight the annual “Dera Gai” (the burying of the rooster) festival. This cultural celebration is observed on the Feast of St. John the Baptist and the purpose was to thank the Gods for the good harvest year and to request them to bless the harvests for the following year. This celebration dates back to 1862. Festival activities are held at various community centers.
Aruba’s Carnival is a fun-filled season with parades, shows, elections and music contests. Carnival season officially starts each year at 11:11 AM on the 11th of the 11th (November 11th). The Carnival Schedule, including all contests, parties and parades, for the upcoming season is official announced during a ceremony on this day. During the period starting from November 11th till December 31st, participants have time to prepare for the Carnival parades and contests. All the contests, parties and parades start after the New Year’s celebration, with the first parade, the Torch Parade, on the first Saturday in January. The last parades are always taking place in the weekend before Ash Wednesday.
Sinterklaas (Sint Nicolas) – Annually on December 5th
Traditionally, Saint Nicolas arrives with his “Zwarte Pieten” (helpers) via boat at the Harbor in Oranjestad a few weeks before his birthday. On his arrival he greets all children of Aruba and rewards them with gifts and candy for their good behavior. On December 5th, on his birthday, Sint Nicolas treats all children with presents that get delivered to their house.