Ecuadorian Club celebrates Carnaval with music, dance and drink
The Ecuadorian Club hosted its annual "Carnavalito" event in honor of Carnaval on April 17. The event focused on the culture and history behind Carnaval, which is a week-long Catholic holiday leading up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Carnaval is also known around the world as Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday
The holiday of Carnaval is celebrated in many South American countries and is known for its colorful parades, huge floats, costumes, music and dancing.
Carnaval is known for its custom of dousing others in different types of liquids. Lent is thought to dissolve everyone from their sins, so the idea behind Carnaval is to enjoy the moment and live it up, as all will be forgiven the morning after. The holiday is notorious for this reason because things can turn violent as people often go overboard and end up harming others.
The hosts of the event shared their personal experiences with the holiday and told the audience all about the holiday and its traditions. The Ecuadorian Club prepared a PowerPoint presentation with information, pictures and videos about Carnaval to give the audience a true understanding of the holiday’s meaning.
The event consisted of two performances, one of which was a dance performance by Sumak Suyay and another a musical performance by Chota Madre. Both groups focused on expressing Ecuadorian culture and bringing a true sense of Carnaval to their viewers.
Sumak Suyay, according to the Ecuadorian Club's presentation, is a “passionate folklore dance group whose main goal is to share and express the Ecuadorian culture through dance.”
The group, which consisted of three pairs of men and women, did two traditional dances. The members wore traditional Ecuadorian dress.
The presentation described Chota Madre as a “cultural movement whose main purpose is to diffuse and broadcast Ecuadorian music through the Bomba genre from Valle de Chota.” Bomba is derived from the African descendants living in the area, the drum is also known as the bomba drum. The musical group played two symbolic songs to which the audience got up and danced along.
The band featured multiple guitar players, a güiro player, a bongo drum player and a singer. During their performance, light up bracelets were distributed among the audience.
Audience members were also called on to play a game in which they had to tie a balloon around their ankles and then try to pop the balloons of others without letting opponents pop their own. The eight people that were called up were split into two teams, and the winners received Starbucks gift cards.
A game of tug of war was also played by representatives of each club sponsor that contributed to the event.
The food offered consisted of empanadas, which are an Ecuadorian specialty, as well as an option of rice and vegetables with either chicken, beef or pork. The room was decorated with colorful streamers and flowers which matched the flamboyant and colorful theme of Carnaval.
A virtual reality headset was awarded to a winner drawn from a raffle at the end of the celebration, despite the prize not being claimed for the first five drawings, which the hosts and audience laughed at with great amusement. A photo booth was available for use throughout the event.
The event is usually held at night, but this year it was held during club hours. Nonetheless, the attendees seemed to enjoy the event, laughing and clapping throughout its entirety.