Trinidad and Tobago Carnival
Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in Trinidad and Tobago. The event is well known for participants’ colourful costumes and enthusiastic celebrations. This year it will take place on 12th and 13th February.
Carnival is the most significant event on the islands’ cultural and tourism calendar, with numerous, smaller music events and parties surrounding it, from the beginning of January right up until the end of Carnival. Band launch fetes take place up until the street parade on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. It is said that if the islanders are not celebrating it, then they are preparing for it, while reminiscing about the past festivals. Traditionally, the occasion is associated with calypso music; however, in recent years, Soca music has replaced calypso as the most celebrated type of music during Carnival. Costumes, stick fighting and limbo competitions are also important components of Carnival. There are dozens upon dozens of bands or “masqueraders” that take to the streets, making this a colourful competition.
Carnival, while it is celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago, is also celebrated in cities and countries worldwide. These include Toronto’s Caribana, Miami’s Miami Carnival, Houston Carifest, London’s Notting Hill Carnival and New York City’s Labour Day Carnival. Outside of the US, other islands have their own carnivals, Jamaica celebrating Bacchanal, Cayman with Batabano, and Barbados presenting Crop Over, to name but a few.