Haitian music groups celebrate Carnival - Al Jazeera English

Haitian music groups celebrate Carnival

Haitians celebrate Carnival through "Rara", a musical genre used for street processions and festivals.

Dearbhla Glynn |

Jacmel, Haiti - Thousands of people flock to the centre of Jacmel - a town located on the southern coast of Haiti - for its annual Carnival event. Parades of vividly coloured dancers snake along the street, as hundreds of people wearing masks - their faces and bodies painted  in a kaleidoscope of hues - can be seen on every corner.

Haiti's Carnival stems from similar celebrations held around the Christian festival of Easter, but instead incorporates voodoo culture and Afro-Haitian heritage. It also heavily employs Rara, a musical genre used mostly for street processions and festivals. 

Rara utilises the sounds of vaksen, a trumpet-like instrument often made from bamboo or scrap metal, along with metal bells, maracas and drums. 

The genre also incorporates satire - parodying past and current political leaders - as well as voodoo ceremonies, and the rich vein of mythology which flows through this island nation. Some people also credit Rara with inspiring dissent and protests under the hard-line rule of former President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who was eventually ousted in a 1986 revolution.

Nepal: The Maoist dream

Nepal: The Maoist dream

Nepal's bloody civil war ended in 2006 when a Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed between the Maoist rebels and the Nepali state in Kathmandu. Many people have disappeared or got killed during the war. Al Jazeera tells this story through the eyes of the Nepali people.

War & Conflict, Nepal, Asia