The Joburg Carnival 2011

Every year, thousands of participants come together to walk the streets of Joburg in a parade. They call it the Joburg Carnival.

Last year in 2011, the carnival started on 27 December and finished on the last day of the year. We decided to catch the finale of the carnival on New Year’s Eve and bravely drove ourselves to a not-so-safe area of the city and parked ourselves there in anticipation of the parade party.

 Photo credit: The hubby

We were lucky that day. It started raining an hour before the parade came to our side and we were the only ones lingering with cameras. I was cold, wet and feeling a little scared. We were all safe and sound that day and the sun came out just as the parade walked towards us, but a friend had his car broken into that very day in the same neighbourhood we were in and his photography equipment and wallet were stolen.

The theme of the carnival was Celebrating Johannesburg’s 125th Birthday, taken from the date gold was discovered on the reef.

It turned out to be a rather simple parade. The floats were casually, although obviously sincerely, put together. The costumes were mismatched and informal. It wasn’t an expensive affair.

There were several teams illustrating a sub-theme of Going Green.

But this carnival was fantastic not for its material display. It was the energy. I loved the energy of the participants.

I loved the stilt walkers!

The highlight of the event for me was the big headed dolls.

They were so cute! Especially when one came towards me and gave me a “big hug”!

Photo credit: The hubby


Photo credit: Heather Mason


It was our last walk in the city for 2011 and couldn’t have been a more wonderful way to end the year.




  1. wow, this is my first time seeing this. amazing! the big dolls look a bit scaring, but i need to agree with you, they are cute somehow. LOL

  2. Would love to be part of this carnival as well, the last time I was in Cape Town, there was a similar carnival too! Sharing the joy together with the South Africans! Your posts always make me wanna go back to South Africa again, I must!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *