Thanks to the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of BC, every July of the year, BC residents get a taste of the Caribbean or the Carnival through the Caribbean Days Festival.
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It is the most significant event on the islands’ cultural and tourism calendar, with numerous cultural events running in the lead up to 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 year’s festival. The heart of the musical celebration has been calypso; recently soca has replaced calypso as the most celebrated type of music. Costumes, stickfighting and limbo competitions are also important components of the festival.
Today, Carnival as it is celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago is also celebrated in cities worldwide, most notably in Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities but also including Toronto’s Caribana, Miami’s Miami Carnival, London’s Notting Hill Carnival as well as New York City’s Labor Day Carnival to name a few.
On July 23 and 24 of 2011, the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of BC hosts the 24 th annual Caribbean Days Festival of BC. While Caribbean Days 2011 is pale by comparison to the real carnival, it has become one of the highlights of BC summer, and an event of fun, song and dance. As best we can get without actually travelling to Trinidad and tobago.
There is the parade, the market place full of colorful clothes and trinkets, inflatable play slides for the children, the international food fair featuring caribbean food such as ginger beer, rotis, barbeque corn, jerk chicken, and much more. Everywhere, one can see young girls with flamboyant feather headress, and butt-dress, sequined tops, exposed bellies, and bulging skins. Great place for people watching.
Carnival is said to have been created in Trinidad and Tobago when the French enslaved the Africans and when slavery was abolished the Africans created carnival to celebrate. Trinidad’s Carnival is said to be one of the best Carnivals in the world along with Brazil’s.