From February to the beginning of May , Bonaire celebrates a unique traditional event, the Simadan.
The Simadan is a tradition in Bonaire that was born during the times when farmers haversted their crops.
During these times the farmers or kunuku owners, with the help of their neighbours, friends and relatives harvest the ripe and dry the sorghum.
To reward all the help received , the kunuku owners of Bonaire set up a Simadan, an event which consists of dance, music, food and high spirits for all those who contributed to enjoy.
The wapa dance, a rhytmic motion forward and backward, is danced arm-in-arm, in long lines at the rythm of the 3 frequently songs played during these celebrations: Dan Simadan, Remailo and Belua.
Typical foods during the Simadan are Funchi and Repa made of sorghummeal, served with goat stew and beans.
In the village of Rincon stands the Mangazina di Rei, to which back in the old days, the kunuku owners used to make their way carrying the sorghum seeds in baskets, in a song and dance filled procession.
Photo Credit: Skyview-bonaire
The Simadan culminates the 30th of April with the celebration of the Dia di Rincon, the biggest festivity of Bonaire. It starts at 7 am with a thanksgiving mass in the town’s Catholic church followed by a flag-raising ceremony.
With these formal commemorations out of the way nice and early, Rincon Day gives way to a more carnival atmosphere with lots of eating, drinking, singing and dancing.
The highlight is the traditional Simadan parade, which makes its way through the town in the afternoon.