29 The carnivals in the islands of the Caribbean are world-famous festivals that unite an explosion of music, food, dance and costume. We look at a few standout carnivals held on these tropical islands. Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Trinidad has the biggest and most well-known festival of the Caribbean Islands. Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is thought to have originated in the 18th century. Part imitating and part mocking the pre-Lent celebrations of the French plantation owners, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival took a cultural strong hold after 1838 with the abolishment of slavery. The festival is now an eruption of energy, bright colors, Calypso and Soca music, and a celebration of life. Junkanoo Junkanoo is a celebration in The Bahamas that begins in the early hours of December 26th, with the largest festivities being held in the capital of Nassau. The festival is thought to have originated during the years of slavery when slaves were allowed to leave the plantations over Christmas to spend time with their families and embrace their cultural traditions. Since emancipation, Junkanoo has been celebrated at other times of the year as well — such as New Years and in June — and has transformed into a euphoric gala of music and culture. Crop Over With an agricultural background, Barbados’ Crop Over festival is thought to date back to the 1780s and is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in mid-July. Although the sugar cane industry faced a major decline in the 20th century resulting in the termination of the festival in 1940, the event was later resurrected and now celebrates the area’s culture and history through music, dance, food and more. Martinique Carnival Similar to some of the other carnivals in the area, the Martinique Carnival takes place on the days leading up to Lent. A cultural highlight in the calendar for both locals and tourists, activities include grand parades, streets full of music and the King Carnival: a bonfire that consumes the e³gy of ‘King Vaval’ on Ash Wednesday. Martinique’s festivities do not end there however, with the mid-Lent celebration of Mi-Carême reviving the jubilant atmosphere three weeks later. St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival The carnival in St. Kitts and Nevis is a celebration of both African and European folklore. Celebrated in December, the St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival unites Christmas rituals with African tradition, resulting in a bonanza of energy, color and rapture. Many competitions are also held during this festive season including beauty pageants, costume contests and music heats such as the ‘Soca Monarch’. Culture Trip inspires people to explore the world’s culture and creativity through innovative technology and a network of local content creators. Their vision is to bring the world to everyone and in doing so bring everyone closer together. Visit www.culturetrip.com to learn more.