The Carnival season is like one large buffet. You can sample all of it over multiple courses; just some of it, by confining yourself to a few things which appeal to you; or none at all (which means leaving the restaurant altogether, to keep the analogy going). But the point is, there’s no right way …
A large part of Trinidad Carnival is about abandon and confrontation, an anti-authoritarian movement subverting all that inhibits and represses. So what you’ll find is a strange, testy negotiation between organisation and mayhem, rules and anarchy. And that hot and sweaty, drunk and disorderly, loud and wassy space in the middle is bliss for some, purgatory for others! Love it or hate it, it is a uniquely Trinidadian experience you are unlikely to forget. Are you ready?
This is the mother of all West Indian style carnivals around the world. The intoxicating mix of high-energy music and street performed by masqueraders, some in costumes 50ft tall, make the massive parade an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
A brief history of Carnival The history of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago can be read as a history of banned things. When the French arrived in the1780s, they brought a tradition of pre-Lenten celebration, most visibly represented by masquerade balls. The island’s economy and society was supported by slave labour, and those slaves were …
Central to understanding much of the Trinidadian psyche is to understand the festival culture of the island. And no festival is greater than the Trinidad Carnival. The dynamism of the festival has sparked its reproduction throughout the rest of the Caribbean island chain, and as far away as Toronto, New York, Miami and Notting Hill. But everyone knows that Trinidad is the “mother of all West Indian carnivals”, which attracts visitors from all over the world, including international celebrities like Halle Berry. Its roots are here
Twin designers Kathy and Karen Norman have generated a lot of buzz around their new medium-category, all-inclusive Carnival band “The Waters – Seas of Consciousness”. They talked to Caroline Taylor about the story behind their designs; the journey to making the band; Trinidad’s vs Brazil’s Carnival; and re-claiming Trinidad’s mas.
The steel pan (it’s really a bit of a faux pas to call it a steel drum!) is one of Trinidad’s proudest exports. It distinguishes itself by being the only acoustic, non-electric instrument invented in the 20th century, and one incubated in Laventille, Port of Spain, during the Second World War