Select Page

The island’s melting pot has created a unique culture.

The Bonairean culture is reflected in the faces of her people. Its origins are as varied as are the ethnic roots of the 21,000 residents. The real Bonairean culture is based on traditions that go back many generations and are chronicled in the songs and dances that are performed during holidays and festivals. It is also based on strong family ties and a general respect for nature and an understanding of an environment that originally was foreign to those first settlers and slaves that were forced to work the inhospitable, arid land.

Those early days of slavery conditioned the people to be strong in the face of adversity. And, it was during this time that the spirit of the people began to develop and they made up songs, invented dances, and began to sing in the old African Tradition. These songs and dances evolved into festivals and have survived to become an important part of life and culture on Bonaire.

Cultural dances.

The dances of the Simadan and the Bari are the best known. The traditional Waltz, Mazurka and the Polka and the local “Baile di Sinta” (ribbon dance) were performed as well as the Rumba, the Carioca, and Merengue which came from other islands. American Jazz also influenced the local traditions of song and dance. Along with an eclectic assortment of homemade musical instruments, those early performers set the stage for a rich, local tradition which continues on to this very day.

Cultural events throughout the year.

The calendar of events will alert visitors to those that are taking place during their particular vacation period. The period from January 1-6 is Maskarada, while the Simadan, the Spring Harvest Festival, occurs from the end of February until the end of April, and the summer months celebrate Dia di San Juan and Dia di San Pedro with crioyo music and fire-jumping! Bari runs from the end of October to the end of December.

Dia di Rincon (Rincon Day), an annual celebration of culture.

Many of the festivals are regional. It may be strange that an island this small has regional differences, but the fact is that there are some subtle and not so subtle differences from neighborhood to neighborhood. The Village of Rincon is perhaps more apt to celebrate all the holidays in grand style, while the village of North Salina devotes a lot of energy to Maskarada. The best example of strong cultural ties is during Dia Di Rincon (Rincon Day). Thousands of participants come from all the Dutch Caribbean islands to celebrate.

Bonaire Day is celebrated each year on September 6th.

Bonaire’s Flag Day, Dia di Boneiru, is celebrated every year on September 6th.  Bonaire may be a small island, but it has huge national pride.  The Annual Blessing of the Fishing Fleet is usually held on a weekend in September as well.

The cultural tradition continues to be influenced to this day. Visitors may just as well enjoy a Mariachi band or a local group performing on the same venue. Some of the most beautiful music you will hear may be a Mozart or Vivaldi piece played with an Antillean beat.

Bonaire offers many cultural events, focusing upon its folkloric background.
The Maskarada perform every New Year's Day.
Dia di Boneiru is Bonaire's flag day.
Visitors can enjoy many folkloric dance events.
Loading Events

Past Events › Culture

September 2019

Annual Blessing of the Fishing Fleet

September 8, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm AST
Sorobon, Lac Bay, Sorobon
Bonaire,
+ Google Map

The annual homage to the Virgin Mary of the Valley, patron saint of fishermen, will take place starting at 3:00 PM at the fisherman's pier at Sorobon, Lac Bay.  Holy Mass will be celebrated on the beach, and the boat parade will be held directly afterward. This is a unique and moving cultural tradition, providing an insight into Bonaire's maritime traditions, which are rarely seen.  It is when the fisherman thank their patron saint for safe passage in the past…

Find out more »

Nos Zjilea Cultural Event

September 28, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm AST
Mangazina di Rei, Boulevard Miguel A. Pourier z/n,
Rincon, Bonaire,
+ Google Map
$5.00
Bonaire's fishing fleet receives a blessing each September.

The Nos Zjilea event has a fusion of local arts and crafts, plants and vegetables, and educational presentations. Enjoy the delicious food while listening to some of the best local musicians as they play live at Mangazina di Rei terrace. The theme of this month's presentation is dedicated to the men of the sea!  All presentations are presented in Papiamentu and translated into English. Bonaireans excelled at being good fisherman, not only in the waters around the island, but also in…

Find out more »

Monument Day

September 29, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm AST
Museo Boneiru (SKAL), 34 Kaya J.N.E. Craane
Kralendijk, Bonaire
+ Google Map
One of Bonaire's historic buildings.

Bonaire's Department of Culture, SKAL, together with the Bonaire Monument Care Foundation, recognizes Monument Day each year to promote awareness in the community about the wonderful monuments on Bonaire. The Monument Day is an International Day established by UNESCO.

Find out more »

October 2019

Nos Zjilea Cultural Event

October 26, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm AST
Mangazina di Rei, Boulevard Miguel A. Pourier z/n,
Rincon, Bonaire,
+ Google Map
$5.00
Local herbs are used in a variety of medicinal ways for health and wellness.

The Nos Zjilea event has a fusion of local arts and crafts, plants and vegetables, and educational presentations. Enjoy the delicious food while listening to some of the best local musicians as they play live at Mangazina di Rei terrace. The theme of this month's presentation is dedicated to Traditional Uses of Medicinal Plants.  All presentations are presented in Papiamentu and translated into English. The Bonairean people have always lived very close to nature. Their diet was very healthy, they produced…

Find out more »

November 2019

Nos Zjilea Cultural Event

November 30, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm AST
Mangazina di Rei, Boulevard Miguel A. Pourier z/n,
Rincon, Bonaire,
+ Google Map
$5.00

The Nos Zjilea event has a fusion of local arts and crafts, plants and vegetables, and educational presentations. Enjoy the delicious food while listening to some of the best local musicians as they play live at Mangazina di Rei terrace. The theme of this month's presentation is the traditional season of the barí, the local drum.  All presentations are presented in Papiamentu and translated into English. In the 17th century, slaves came to the island to work in the salt pans. In…

Find out more »

December 2019

Bonaire Christmas Shopping Night

December 21, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm AST
Wilhelmina Park, Plaza Wilhelmina
Kralendijk, Bonaire,
+ Google Map
Have your picture taken with Santa Claus on the Bonaire Chriistmas Shopping Night!

During this event, Kaya Grandi will be closed to traffic, giving pedestrians the opportunity to walk around freely and enjoy the last minute shopping in a Christmas-wonderland atmosphere. Santa Claus will be there so the kids (both little or big) can have their pictures taken with him. At different locations on Kaya Grandi, other DJs and musicians will be playing to help the holiday cheer. There will be stands selling delicious traditional Christmas treats, such as ayaka, oliebollen, and of…

Find out more »

Nos Zjilea Cultural Event

December 28, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm AST
Mangazina di Rei, Boulevard Miguel A. Pourier z/n,
Rincon, Bonaire,
+ Google Map
$5.00
Celebrating year-end traditions at the Nos Zjilea Cultural Event at Mangazina di Rei on Bonaire.

The Nos Zjilea event has a fusion of local arts and crafts, plants and vegetables, and educational presentations. Enjoy the delicious food while listening to some of the best local musicians as they play live at Mangazina di Rei terrace. The theme of this month's presentation is the end-of-the-year traditions.  All presentations are presented in Papiamentu and translated into English. New Year's Eve is the most popular period of the year. Our ancestors came together to share their memories with each…

Find out more »

January 2020

Nos Zjilea Cultural Event

January 25 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm AST
Mangazina di Rei, Boulevard Miguel A. Pourier z/n,
Rincon, Bonaire,
+ Google Map
$5.00
Mangazina di Rei hosts a monthly cultural event on Bonaire.

The Nos Zjilea event has a fusion of local arts and crafts, plants and vegetables, and educational presentations. Enjoy the delicious food while listening to some of the best local musicians as they play live at Mangazina di Rei terrace. The theme of this month's presentation is all about local families and architecture.  All presentations are presented in Papiamentu and immediately translated into English. Bonaire's elders are descendants from different nationalities, and therefore it is very important for one to go…

Find out more »

February 2020

Nos Zjilea Cultural Event

February 29 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm AST
Mangazina di Rei, Boulevard Miguel A. Pourier z/n,
Rincon, Bonaire,
+ Google Map
$5.00
Mangazina di Rei hosts a monthly cultural event on Bonaire.

The Nos Zjilea event has a fusion of local arts and crafts, plants and vegetables, and educational presentations. Enjoy the delicious food while listening to some of the best local musicians as they play live at Mangazina di Rei terrace. The theme of this month's presentation is all about local beliefs around natural phenomena.  All presentations are presented in Papiamentu and immediately translated into English. More than 100 million years ago, volcanic eruptions took place deep underwater along the edge of…

Find out more »

July 2020

Nos Zjilea Cultural Event

July 25 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm AST
Mangazina di Rei, Boulevard Miguel A. Pourier z/n,
Rincon, Bonaire,
+ Google Map
$5.00
Mangazina di Rei hosts a monthly cultural event on Bonaire.

The Nos Zjilea event has a fusion of local arts and crafts, plants and vegetables, and educational presentations. Enjoy the delicious food while listening to some of the best local musicians as they play live at Mangazina di Rei terrace. At the local market, one may taste and buy various local fresh products, such as the line of locally produced natural fruit juices, Made in Rincon, herbal medicines, local delicacies and dishes, local art, and much more.

Find out more »
+ Export Events

Select Your Language

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

The Latest News From The Bonaire Insider

InfoBonaire is supported by advertising.
Thank you for supporting our advertisers!
Book your vehicle for your Bonaire Vaction with AB Carrental!

Archives

Categories

error: Sorry, content is protected under copyright.
Share
Tweet
Share
Pin