The carnival takes place over the four days before Lent, is like no other. Although traditionally a Christian celebration, less than 10% of Bissau Guineans call themselves Catholic; the rest worship either Allah or the spirits of the islands and forests.
Today's carnival, which has been going for as long as anyone in the city can remember, is, as one long-time Portuguese resident put it, about "local ethnic traditions combined with a Portuguese date." Guineans have taken an imported religious festival and used it as an excuse to have a very big, cultural celebration.
January 1: New Year's Day
March 8: International Women's Day
May 1: Labour Day
August 3: Anniversary of the Killing of Pidjiguoiti
August 31: Korité (end of Ramadan)
September 24: National Day
November 14: Anniversary of the Movement of Readjustment
November 7: Tabaski (Feast of the Sacrifice)
December 25: Christmas Day