The carnival is one of the most important popular festivities of Guadeloupe. It starts on the Sunday of Epiphany (January) and ends on Ash Wednesday. It was introduced to the island in the 17th century by Catholic Europeans wishing to have fun before fasting. Today, several events take place during the festivities: election of the queen, Sunday parade or "grand vidé", in black and white of Ash Wednesday. During these two months of celebrations, people who are dressed up follow an upbeat crowd, following the rhythm of brass instruments and drums.