Trinidad Carnival – ˈKɑr nə vəl


Trinidad-Carnival is an annual occurrence held on the Monday and Tuesday ere Ash Wednesday in Trinidad and Tobago. Emigration of Trinbagonians to the United States, Canada and Europe (Trini’s In Xisle) has disseminated Carnival celebrations to many municipalities in Europe ( London’s Notting Hill Carnival, Berlin Carnival), the United States (Miami’s Carnival, New York’s Labor Day, Hollywood), and Canada (Toronto’s Caribana).

Carnival History

Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is observed before the start of the Lenten season. From 1783 for half a century, the French (Jedui gras, Dimanche gras, Lundi gras, and Mardi gras) developed their Carnival, which was noted to be a season of gay and luxurious gaieties extending from Christmas to Ash Wednesday. These festivities consisted of dinners, balls, concerts and hunting parties.

The Africans started to partake in the festivities from 1833 after the Emancipation Bill was passed. The Africans brought Canboulay to its festivities. Canboulay was first played on August 1st, Emancipation Day, but subsequently took place after midnight on Dimanche Gras, the Sunday before Carnival.

Trinidad Carnival is Colour

The word Carnival is derived from Latin Carnem Levare meaning ‘putting away of meat’. The observance of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, traditionally stronger in the more Roman Catholic population of Trinidad, has drawn on and incorporated numerous cultural traditions including Calypso, Masquerade, Street Parades, Moko Jumbie, Stick-Fighting. The most prominent official days of Trinidad Carnival are Dimanche Gras (Sunday), Carnival Monday, including Jouvay and Carnival Tuesday. But the Carnival season of fetes, competitions and songs begins following Christmas

A protracted history of contention remains over the acceptability of people’s behaviour and the quality of song lyrics during Carnival.

Trinidad Carnival Goes Hollywood

Hollywood Carnival specifically is an expression of “the Colors of Culture & Freedom of the World As One People”. Hollywood Carnival’s main

purpose is to unite cultures through entertainment and activity.

The immigration of individuals from the Caribbean diaspora and the arrival of social media has made it feasible and more accessible to bestow Trinidad Carnival culture with the world.

Trinidad Carnival Social Media Influencers

Carnival outside of Trinidad is not your normal Carnival of yesteryear! Rather, it’s a mashup of generations, experiences and cultures inspired by social media influencers endeavouring to bestow their heritage with a more extensive audience.


Sistas-Wit-Style based out of Oakland California who’s stated “mission is to spread the Caribbean Culture and show that youth and adults can make a positive difference in their community through dance and drumming; And to spread the Caribbean culture.” Sistas represented Trinidad Carnival culture during Hollywood Carnival by performing various dance routines with young adults. In 2018 these Sistas were awarded “Most Spirit for Hollywood Carnival. You can follow them on Instagram @sistaswitstyle.


Favor Films

Carnival is colour. Carnival is mas. To seize the character of Trinidad Carnival digitally is exceptionally challenging because of the milieu of colours, costumes and commotion that is mas. Kourage from Favor Films a talented videographer with Trini roots was able to capture the human spirit of Hollywood Carnival eloquently.

Typically when you view many Carnival videos online, the majority of them are focused on the women’s booty. Booty shots are galore. Favor Films with his Trinidadian heritage contributes a novel perspective to capture the rapture and the sentiments of the masqueraders as they frolic with pride showcasing their culture.

Anyone can take a booty shot but it necessitates a true professional to connect with his subjects to convey digitally the significance of Carnival.

You can follow Kourage on Instagram @FavorFilms.

Favor Films

Soca Sisters

Soca Sisters is another organisation devoted to the Caribbean culture with a declared mission ” Soca Sisters is a dynamic global initiative created to exemplify oneness through sisterhood, self-empowerment, and cultural awareness through carnival.”

You can follow them on Instagram @socasisters.

The Soca Sisters also had a full crew representing at Hollywood carnival.

In closing, where ever you are in the world, there is always a Carnival celebration in the vicinity. Remember Carnival is Colour, Carnival is Mas. So.

Everybody take ah jump, take ah jump, take ah jump up now
Start to wave, start to wave, start to wave up now
Start to wine, start to wine, start to wine up now
Because its Carnival


Featured Image: Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam at Trinidad Carnival. Photo: © Sean Drakes.

2 thoughts on “Trinidad Carnival – ˈKɑr nə vəl”

  1. Pingback: Trinidad Lingo: Understanding the Meaning of Bacchanal ⋆ TriniInXisle

  2. Pingback: Capturing Caribana: A Day in the Life of Filmmaker Kourage ⋆ TriniInXisle

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