This thing called carnival is part of my culture. It’s a time where people come together from all creed and race. It’s a time of celebration. It’s filled with bright beautiful mas costumes intertwined with vibrant colors.
The saying, “carnival is color, carnival is mas” by soca artist Ronnie McIntosh, is the perfect example of the experience. The sweet sound of soca music blasting from the big bad “Optimus Prime” trucks. The numerous bands with thousands of masqueraders shaking and whining up their waistlines. Topped with soca artists performing from up above keeping the energy and vibes going. Can’t forget the food and drinks that are provided throughout the day to keep the masqueraders hydrated and fueled.
It’s an amazing time. People wait all year just for this day. Shit, people use their rent money, mortgage money or their last just so they can be a part of carnival. I love it!
“I’ve been playing mas since ah small” (trini twang). Growing up in Brooklyn, carnival fell on Labor Day weekend. I played in Kiddies Carnival, which fell on Saturday. The actual carnival “West Indian Day Parade” always fall on Monday. Which is Labor Day itself. I went to mostly all carnivals (DC Carnival, Baltimore Carnival, Long Island Carnival, Caribana in Toronto, Jersey Carnival, Trinidad Carnival and Miami Carnival). I still haven’t experienced Cropover (Carnival in Barbados), Nottinghill carnival, Hollywood carnival, Atlanta Carnival etc.
The best of them all is Trinidad carnival. I went when I was small but just watched from the side lines. So now, I want to “go home” to play mas. Carnival is Trinidad is actually 2 days. Constant jamming. Miami carnival is sweet too, that’s the one I’m always playing mas in.
Even though carnival is something that a lot of people are proud of and cherish, there are those that think negatively about it. Instead of seeing beautiful costumes, they consider it being that women are half naked. Wearing “bird costumes” and shaking their asses. I say wow, I’ve heard of those negative connotations about Brazilian carnival. It’s damn near the same thing, just different music. I don’t get offended by those that don’t understand the nature of carnival. It won’t stop me from partaking in it. I will continue to pass down my traditions and culture hoping that the next generation would be interested. Unlike my sister who could careless LOL.
Anyway, check it out. Google it, watch YouTube video on Trinidad carnival and other carnivals. The experience is open to everyone. I share with you my time in Miami for carnival 2019.
FYI: My favorite soca artist is Machel Montano. I’ve been a fan since 1994.
Check him out too. Extravagant entertainer.