The Greatest Show on Earth?

January 26, 2015


Carnival in Trinidad is a mixture of color, music and creativity. Many nations have imitated but nothing on earth can rival the spectacular costumes, pulsating music, and unparalleled stamina for partying. 


Just like the FIFA World Cup, fans come from every corner of the globe to experience the action. The only difference is when they arrive, they are not cheering for soccer teams, but some of the most beautiful women in the world. There are unlimited parties all leading up to the main event- Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Nonstop music, dancing, energy, and fun make Carnival Monday and Tuesday an event of a lifetime.


There are many opinions on how Carnival started, but it is known to be a pagan festival that originated in Egypt. It was then celebrated by the Greeks and subsequently adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. It was brought to the Caribbean by European slave traders, who excluded African slaves from the festival, which in the past was celebrated by lavish masquerade balls. Then came Emancipation, where the freed African slaves used the festival to celebrate the end of slavery. Only now the festival had a new twist derived from African heritage. The Caribbean Carnival that we know today, is now exported to large cities around the world including New York City, Miami, and London.


The word Carnival contains two Latin expressions, carne (flesh) and vale (farewell). Farewell to flesh is celebrated on Carnival Monday and Carnival Tuesday, and comes right before Lent, or Ash Wednesday.  The purpose of Carnival Monday and Tuesday was to allow Catholics a chance to commit their final acts of sin and vice before 40 days of abstinence and self-restraint. 


Despite the different opinions of the origins, one fact remains true about Carnival in Trinidad.  It is one of the greatest shows on earth and should be rarely missed! 


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