Thursday, February 15, 2007

Friday Destination Dreaming # 16

Mardi Gras! Forget about Rio De Janeiro and New Orleans, and head to Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. This southern most Caribbean island is home to a celebration of over 40,000 masqueraders. Carnival was originally introduced by the french colonizers as a more genteel affair. After emancipation in 1938, the ex-slaves continued carnival, but the celebration shifted from balls and carriage rides to a frenzied street party - now considered the biggest in the world! Music is a highlight and consists of the unique sounds of calypso and the steel band. The celebration begins after Boxing Day with fetes (parties) and continues up to Ash Wednesday and until Lent on Friday, but especially climaxes over this weekend through Fat Tuesday. There are many special events, including the Kings and Queens Costume Competitions, Panorama, Jou'vert (literally translated to 'the opening of day'), and the Masquerade Band of the year.


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