Carnival Do’s & Don’ts
The fete is upon us, and whether you’re a local or visitor, you’re not going to want to miss the parade. The road march is one of the most exciting aspects of Caribbean carnivals. The bright colours, beautiful people dressed in glittery costumes, and festive music fills the streets as crowds gather each year to watch and take part in the event.
Carnival is unique to each island or country and takes place at different times throughout the year depending on where you are. Though the days may vary and are specific to each Island, carnival remains a can’t-miss cultural event that everyone should take part in or witness at least once. While having that much fun, it is easy to forget the most basic (and not so obvious) rules of safety.
These tips will help you survive the mass.
DO: Stay comfortable.
Whether you choose to jump or sit on the side lines, please take measures to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. Also, be sure to check your feet! Heels may look cute and sure, they go the extra mile for your costume, but don’t forget you will be on your feet for a long time- whether you’re a masquerader or not. Consider comfortable shows for all-day foot wear.
DON’T: Bring what you don’t need.
If you want to bring money, credit or debit cards (and ID’s) are a better option than large sums of cash. You can always cancel your card, but you cannot get back large amounts of cash you may lose. It’s also recommended that you leave anything of value you can break or misplace, home. I.E. – expensive sunglasses, expensive phones, flashy jewellery, or watches.
DO: Stay hydrated.
It’s important to drink lots of water. You should aim to drink one bottle of water for every two alcoholic beverages. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, the sun is hot and the day is long, so make sure to keep water near you at all times.
DON’T: Use the bathroom where you’re not supposed to!
It’s important to know the designated pee-stops, especially if it’s your first time on the road. If this trek is new to you, do your research. You can find a porta-potty in some areas, but in other locations, know where the easiest bathroom access will be- restaurants and bars are usually open to jumpers (unless told otherwise) and you can’t go wrong with public toilets.
DO: Stay with a buddy.
While it’s important to have fun, please remember not to venture off alone, especially if you’re visiting a place you’re not familiar with. When the long day fades into an inevitable long night, it’s easy to get lost and lose the people you’re with. Make sure to stay in pairs at least, and avoid dark areas.
DON’T: Drink and drive.
This one might seem like common sense, but if you know you’re going to have a few drinks, make sure to have a designated driver, the number for a taxi service or can at least get yourself to the local transportations in one piece.
Please remember these tips when you’re chasing your carnival breakfast with a bottle of rum, snapping pictures on your iPhone and fastening your expensive watch on your wrist. Have a blast but don’t lose your discretion!