Carnaval in the DR is exuberant, with each locality providing its own festive twist (the coolest? In Santo Domingo and La Vega).

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Dominicans pull out all the stops for their version of the pre-Lenten festivities.

With origins in the 17th century and increased popularity as of the 18th, pre-Lenten Carnaval is, as in many other Latin and Caribbean countries, the biggest blowout of the year on the Dominican holiday calendar (dates vary depending on the year and the town, but most of them overlap a good part of February, others also in March). The celebrations mix African and European traditions, in the form of masks, adaptations of tribal dances, and parades, with the idea of partying and letting loose before the rigors of Lent and the celebration of Easter. The festivities are biggest, of course, in Santo Domingo, especially along the malecón, and the other that's considered the best takes place in La Vega, in the interior south of Santigo de los Caballeros.

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