Each season, there are plenty of things to do in St. Barts. The annual St. Barts Carnival is coming again in 2024, and this time, it will be bigger than ever. Of all the many things to do in St. Barts, this carnival will be one splendid activity you don’t want to miss when you visit St. Barts in 2024. Be sure you don’t miss this if you plan on making the trip to the island in 2024.

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Discovering St. Barts Carnival on February 13th

The famous St. Bart’s Carnival will take place starting February 13th, 2024, in the capital, Gustavia. This celebration typically consists of a costumed parade featuring floats, dancers, live bands, and more. The celebration is in honor of Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, a Christian holiday that kicks off the Christian season of Lent, which is a season of austerity. Fat Tuesday is the last celebration of excess before the Lenten season.

St. Bart’s Carnival starts on Fat Tuesday and ends on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season. On St. Bart’s, the Carnival ends with the burning of the Vaval on Shell Beach. Vaval is the “King of the Carnival“, an effigy made of wood, paper, and other flammable materials. Vaval is supposed to represent all the negative things that occurred the year before, so burning him to start the Lenten season is supposed to purify everyone for the new year. It’s a half-solemn, half-celebratory event, in which a mock funeral is held on Shell Beach, and a bonfire is lit to burn Vaval. You have to be there.


St. Bart's Carnival starts on February 13th 2024

Facts About St Barths Carnival

The history and customs surrounding the St Barths Carnival are fascinating. Immerse yourself in the local culture by learning more about it.

In addition to the main parade and the burning of Vaval, there is also a children’s parade, encouraging kids of all ages and their parents to experience marching down the street with hundreds of people cheering them on. There is also a pajama parade, which is pretty self-explanatory. You’ll have to experience it to believe it. There are also many parties, concerts, and special events throughout Gustavia and around the island in honor of the celebration.

The Carnival of St. Barts has happened every year since the 19th century, with a brief hiatus in 2020. It was first introduced by Christian French colonizers.

Vibes and Environment Around St Barths During Carnival

The vibes in St. Bart’s are always happy and free, but you can expect these vibes to only increase in intensity around Carnival time. Similar to the vibes leading up to and during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but without the massive crowds, St. Bart’s comes alive during and before the St. Barts Carnival.

This is a great time to help support the local economy in St. Bart’s by visiting some of the many local shops and small businesses that populate the island. You can find almost anything you need for your trip, as well as unforgettable souvenirs to remember your trip by, most of which were handcrafted by local artisans and merchants. Stop by for a friendly chat at a cafe while you’re at it.

It’s important to schedule yourself some downtime while visiting the island during Carnival time. The Carnival itself can be overstimulating for even the most outgoing visitors. Make sure you have some time set aside to recharge your batteries to better experience the jubilation that grips the island every spring.

St. Barts Carnival and other Important Events for 2024

The St Barts Carnival isn’t the only event in 2024. There is so much to celebrate and experience on the island in 2024.

  • St. Barts Gourmet Festival. Typically held in November each year for the past ten years, the St. Barts Gourmet Festival features renowned French chefs creating excellent cuisine in a carnival-like atmosphere in the island’s capital, Gustavia. Chefs and dates are yet to be announced for 2024, but you can bet this will be a gastronomical event you don’t want to miss.
  • St. Bart’s Music Festival. This two-week event features traditional and avant garde music from the area’s most renowned and popular musical artists, all converging on Gustavia’s Quai Général de Gaulle. This festival has been happening annually on the island since 1985, and its popularity has only expanded each year. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance to make sure you can experience music island style.
  • St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta. Some of the best sailors in the world converge on St. Barts every year to race in the annual regatta. Come for the competition, stay for the festivities on the island that last for a full two weeks. Find out more about the St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta.

Visit St Barths and Enjoy the Carnival

There’s no reservations needed to attend any of the carnival events, but lodging fills up quickly this time of year, so make your arrangements for 2024 as soon as you can, and have fun!