Trinidad Blue Devi for Jouvert

Trini Phrase: Jouvert

  • Jouvert, Jour ouvert, Jouvert (n): [Trinidad Jouvert] the official beginning of Carnival at daybreak on the Monday preceding Ash Wednesday. (< French Creole jou ouve <French jour ouvert ‘day open’, as a translation of day clean)
    • Well for me I waiting on Jour Ouvert, Just to jump me jum[p] and break away. (Kitchener “Jump in the Line” 1948)
    • The Jour Ouvert of 1920 Port-of-Spain saw revellers crowding the streets from the crack of dawn, and in the bands, amidst the beaters of tamboo-bamboo, and bottle-and-spoon, could be seen revellers depicting crooks, pick-pockets, burglars, beggers, highway robbers, and Barbadian cooks. (Anthony 1989:25)
    • Jouvay…the opening day of Carnival which begins in the early morning hours (often officially 2:00 A.M.) Monday morning before Ash Wednesday. Jouvay is a nocturnal mas that breaks shortly after dawn. Thousands of revellers in old clothes covered with mud, or as Blue or Red Devils, or drenched in black oil (Oil Men) fill the streets. (Martin 1998:227)
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Lord Kitchener Flag Women in a Word Cloud.

Trinidad Carnival a mi·sog·y·nist culture?

I am a 🇹🇹 by birth, but I currently live in Maryland, 🇺🇸. I still, however, acknowledge Trinidad and Tobago and its culture as home and the space in which I feel most comfy. One of Trinidad’s most renowned commodities is Trinidad Carnival and thousands congregate on the island every year for the annual festivities.

Two women kissing and taking a selfie.

Can you do Trinidad Carnival on a budget?

I was recently olë talking with two 🐎 of mine about Carnival. I eh go call no names, because ah recently travelled with them to 🇯🇲 and I eh want to blowup dey spot.

Word of the Week: Parang

  • Parang (n) :  A traditional Venezuelan-derived type of singing, sometimes improvisational, on religious themes, usually entirely in Spanish, performed around Christmas, in house-to-house carolling or while visiting friends. (Spanish parranda ‘serenading; going out and singing; having a good time’)
    • I myself buy rum for when the neighbours come over, and when the parang pass playing the quatros and signing the seranales for Christmas.

Trinidad Road March Songs 1999 to 2018

Road-March

The Trinidad Road March is a tune suitable for dancing and jumping up in the streets is usually characterised by a short repetitious and lively chorus. In the early years, Lord Kitchener These are the tunes played most often by steel or brass bands on the roads on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Lord Kitchener
Lord Kitchener (Aldwin Roberts)

There was a time when the Leggo, or Break Away song, was heralded as the best song for the two days of a parade on the streets. Today we call that song the National Road March which, of course, was officially sanctioned in 1962. Prior to 1962, that song was known as the Leggo! Lord Kitchener pictured above currently has the most wins for Trinidad Road March songs.

ArtistNumber of Road Marches
Kitchener11
Super Blue10
Machel Montano9
Sparrow8
Lion5
King Radio3
Fay-ann Lyons3
Tambu3
Shurwayne Winchester2
Calypso Rose2
Blakie2
Spit Fire2

Road March list from Bacchanal! The Carnival Culture of Trinidad

If you want to learn more about Trinidad check out the following articles: Waving Gallery, Doux-doux and Bad John. In addition to the song traditions of Trinidad Road March from Lord Kitchener, there is also Trini folklore such as Papa Bois is an oral tradition meant to pass on the stories to the next generation. Other Trini phrases in the vernacular are Light Candle, Sprawl Off.