Whether you call it carnival, bacchanal or feting, Trinidad is home to “the greatest street party on Earth”, says WGSN’s Nicole McLennan
It’s a celebration that dates back to 1783, and takes place on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, get to know why this Carnival is a must-visit.
1. The location:
Trinidad’s Port of Spain is the best area to stay while you are visiting for carnival, there are lots of attractions in Port of Spain including Savannah Park, The Avenue and the streets are home to where the main carnival takes place. British Airways is the only airline that operates direct flights from London, Gatwick to Port of Spain, Trinidad. Flying to one of the other Caribbean islands like Barbados, St. Lucia or St. Vincent then connecting to Trinidad, is a savvy option to consider that may save you money too.
2. “Play mass” – The two day carnival parade
Who you choose to “Play Mass” with is essential to your experience of carnival. Choosing a band that has vibrant costumes, great food and drinks is where the excitement begins. Some of the biggest and most popular bands are Harts, Tribe and Fantasy. You can expect the costumes to be brightly coloured with flamboyant detailing, similar to our WGSN SS17 Digital Wave and SS17 Encounter Culture Future Trends.
Just want to watch the magic unfold? Port of Spain will be buzzing with locals and tourists enjoying the festivities and you can watch as the amazing bands go by. Expect a colour wheel of Instagram worthy pictures.
3. Extra parties:
From Boxing Day through to carnival, feteing (partying) is experienced across the island. These fetes include music competitions from local calypso / soca artists, steel pan bands and themed parties (e.g. water & powder throwing).
J’ouvert (the start of Carnival at dawn) is one of the biggest events that kick start the two-day carnival. In the early hours of Carnival Monday, Masqueraders (party goers) cover each other in paint, powder and oil whilst partying until the sun comes up. By the end of J’ouvert you will be feeling like a real Trinidadian!
4. Food and Beverages
Throughout your time on the island food and drinks will be flowing. Puncheon is the national rum of Trinidad and Tobago and at 75% proof alcohol it’s guaranteed to make you lose your inhibitions and start dancing. As for food, you must taste the fresh local Shark and Bakes (bread rolls), roti and doubles which are a sure hit!
5. The sister island Tobago
Sounds like a hectic few days? Ash Wednesday is the start of the “cool down period”. Some locals and tourists choose to spend the rest of the week chilling out at Maracas Bay Beach, which is north of the Island. Many however, opt to fly or cruise to sister island Tobago for recuperation time before heading back home. However you choose to spend this time, you will be surround by paradise.
Want to “Fete” next year? The Carnival takes place on 27th & 28th February 2017, so start planning now!
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