Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival! a Tsunami of Revelry, Music, Dance, and the Best Escape to Reality

Where the Prime Minister, the Beggar, the Thief and the Priest Converge and Fete Together as One. Dat is Carnival!

For epicurean pleasure in the splendor of masquerade, Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is the world's jeweled oyster. Without this annual feast of gluttonous music symphony and untamed insanity, our people will perish. We are Carnival and our life is Theater

Trini Bacchanal
The first element of Trini (abbreviation for Trinidad & Tobago) Carnival is Bacchanal. It is an occasion of wild and drunken revelry.  It is spectacular costumes, it is infectious music, it is partying "all night long" and it is wanton and carefree abandon.
The Carnival Vapse.
Whether Carnival falls in late February or early April, a universe of carnival followers becomes swept up in the momentum,  loosely termed the Carnival vapse.
Behind the closed curtains of Trini Caribbean families, being Carnival whipped, is as bad as being caught up in a cyclone. The sudden impulsive urgency to leave home, family, responsibility and flee to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago have wrecked many a happy marriage. Hot and torrid romances have been dissolved by the sleuth of a Carnival vapse
In the monsoon of emotions to get to Steelband Panorama preliminaries, to attend the Calypso competitions, or play de mas, brave and upstanding citizens have been leveled to warahoon status .
In urban dictionary, warahoon describes dem wild indian who use to live in trinidad long time ago look at them warahoon running like asses. 
Unless, you get to the soil of Mother Carnival, Trinidad and Tobago, and suckle in her bounteous pleasures, you find no remedy for relief.
Carnival, The Energy, the Music, the Mas
Carnival is as an energy force. There is paranormal feteing.   Prior to Carnival Mardi Gras Monday and Fat Tuesday, as celebrated by our New Orleans reveler compatriots, there are band launchings, there are celebrity events.    There are all inclusive parties, there are offshore, onshore, by the pool, around the Savannah, in the North Stand and through the Grand Stands, parties to attend. 
As the solemnity of Christmas ends, by the dawning of the New Year, Carnival is the most practiced community fellowship for Trinis inside and outside the island grounds.
Calypso and Soca are the popular musical songs and melodies exchanged between the performers and their devoted fans.
Wining is not  sipping  Merlot,  Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.  Nor is wining, "Whining" as is proverbially misappropriated.. 
Wining is the roll of the waist, with the cock of the back, gyrating to the right, left and centre, The lower body swerves at the hips in downward and circular pelvic motions, and rhythmically oscillate to the dance of the pagans.
Carnival is Culture
The feteing starts on the heels of the Christmas season.  The national musical instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, the steelband features prominently in panyard exhibitions to orchestral competitions.  It all culminates on the Savannah stage in the most symphonic rivalry of musical showmanship.  
Panorama is when  steelband orchestras from the north and south corners of the island compete for the best arrangement, acoustic sound, tune and delivery to their most discriminating audiences. Renowned world musicologists are invited to judge at Panorama semi finals and finals. 
Hugh Masekela shared these words during his 2014 visit to a Trinidad panyard:
"You sounded great…thank you very much…you do not know how lucky you are …there are very very few countries in the world where people get opportunity to do this much music together… I know you take it for granted…but it's a wonderful situation…I hope it never dies…it's a very very rich heritage. Thank you very much.
Carnival the Celebration
Sometimes when yuh at Carnival, yuh partying non stop. The weekend of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago yuh start feteing from Friday, Saturday, Sunday till Jouvert Morning. Sometimes, you doh even have time to check yuh own pulse -.  describes a good dose of the Carnival celebration
  • Jouvert
Jouvert is the early morning beginning of the Carnival Monday Mas. Much like the Halloween ghouls, ghosts,and goblins in the United States, but without the religious pandering, everyone gets dirty, nasty, slimy and muddy. There is black face, white face, blue and orange face.
 Body mud color is the costume du jour. There is no political correctness. You can be a celebrity, or not. Everyone, black or white, Indian, Hindu, Muslim, Chinese, Greek, Lebanese, or Syrian, become a nobody-anybody. 
The only criteria of normalcy required is to be insanely festive and happy. 
  • Monday Mas
Trini Carnival is the The Greatest Show on Earth. Monday Mas is where the sightings of pretty Mas is premiered. The talents of the great colony of artists who design costumes for masqueraders in Carnival bands come alive. The epic stories of Greek mythology, the ancient wars of the Roman empire, the fallen Dynasties, the Sea Monsters, the Galaxies of the World, the indigenous Indian Tribal dress, the kings and warriors of Africa are depicted as Mas costumes. The largest masqueraders ball in any part of the world takes place in Trinidad and Tobago on the streets of the capitol city Port of Spain, and its outlying towns and rural venues.
The landscape of people, colors, sounds and gaiety are intoxicating. No one is a spectator. Everyone, whether in costume or not, is consumed in the drunkenness of fun, dance and non stop merriment.
  • Tuesday Carnival Laniappe 
On Carnival Tuesday, there is profusion of every type of synergy and harmony and a myriad kaleidoscopic colors in every shape, form and fashion. Bands of thousands of masqueraders come out in full regalia. Accompanying the thousands of masqueraders are the trucks with the music. Alongside the trucks, and the masquerades are the people, the tourists, the spectators, and the Carnival jumbies. It is an orgiastic explosion of fun.
Then by Tuesday nightfall, Carnival takes her leave. Along the streets, remnants of glitz, glitter, wings, headpieces, lifeless and strewn are swept up by the engines of trash collection vehicles.
The feast of the Gods of Bacchanalia takes a purging exit. The Carnival is Over.
Carnival is the Experience

Brazil Carnival showcases their Samba Dance Schools, New Orleans glams the avante garde and fierce outrageousness during their Mardi Gras celebrations, Trinis Play Mas without ceasing.
Trinis have a World Treasure Resource. its the Majesty of Carnival.
What happens at Trini Carnival stays with you for lifetimes..

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