Can you hear the pulsing beats of the soca and calypso bands? Can you smell all the wonderful foods coming from every restaurant and street corner? Its carnival time in Trinidad and already the island is starting to celebrate. While the official dates of carnival are February 16-17, 2015, the island has begun its annual celebration with bands, parties and festive tents.
What is Trinidad Carnival?
Carnival started centuries ago when the French settled on the island. They brought their masquerade balls and carnival to the people as they celebrated the time between Christmas and Lent. Now, carnival is influenced by the many cultures of the island. The official carnival days are the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday every year. However, festivities really begin after Christmas. As soon as the Christmas trees and decorations are put away, the Calypso tents come outoffering many types of cultural shows from limbo contests to soca concerts. The official Carnival is made up of soca and calypso bands, masquerade costumes and musical competitions. The festivities aren’t just for those in the parades or the bands, everyone joins in, it is an explosion of color, music and revelry.
The Official Days of Carnival
Carnival officially starts at 4 A.M. the Monday morning before Lent with the predawn party of J’Ouvert. In French it means ‘day open.’ This party celebrates the darker elements of the island’s folklore history. Revelers will be bathed in chocolates, mud, oil and paint as they depict devils, demons and monsters. As the sun rises and daytime takes over,J’Ouvert ends and huge costumed bands take over the streets. Everywhere soca music blares from trucks and crowds don colorful costumes. These beautiful costumes are called ‘mas.’ Carnival Tuesday starts promptly at 8 A.M. with costumedsoca bands parading before judges to be crowned ‘Masquerade Band of the Year.’ Each band has its own historical or tropical theme and each section of the band depicts aspects of the main theme. Thousands of revelers are in the streets dressed in full costume to dance and enjoy the bands.
The Ideal Carnival Hotel
You don’t want to miss the fun of carnival. It is a party of a lifetime.Whether you are a local or flying in for our days of revelry, come stay at the Hotel Normandie located in the heart of Port of Spain. With 70 rooms to serve you, the Normandie provides home-styled comfort with treasured tranquility and privacy. The rooms are richly appointed with every comfort in mind and offer island charm throughout. It is a family-owned and run hotel that prides themselves on providing guests with the feelings of home.Find your costume and come enjoy the world’s greatest show! Contact the Hotel Normandie to book your carnival accommodations today.