Upcoming Caribbean carnival celebrations you can get in on this year

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  • Published on February 23, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Culture

Take a look at this year’s other carnival celebrations and get in on the fun.

2023 is in full swing, which means it’s time for another year-full of carnival celebrations. Carnival is a cultural event that takes place in the Caribbean islands throughout the year. According to National Geographic, these flamboyant and energetic festivities can be traced back to pre-Lenten Mardi Gras parties that European Catholics brought to Trinidad during colonial times. Enslaved West Africans combined their masquerading rituals with rebellious chanting as a way to defy European colonizers. When slavery was abolished these practices made their way to the streets and the modern-day carnival was born.

Because of its origins in Trinidad and Tobago, the island’s carnival is known as the Mother of Carnival and has inspired carnival celebration in other parts of the Caribbean and the world. Trinidad and Tobago native, Nicki Minaj, got in on this year’s celebration, which took place on Feb. 20 and 21. The rapper sported an extravagant costume, a distinguishing component of carnival celebrations, with a violet color palette, feathered wings and a body-hugging bodysuit.

If you missed out on Trinidad’s carnival festivities, don’t worry. Here are some other celebrations you can check out this year or in years to come.

Jamaica Carnival: April 12th to April 18th, 2023

Carnival was introduced to Jamaica in the 90s thanks to musician and record producer Byron Lee, as he wanted to bring some of Trinidad’s fun to JA. Jamaica’s carnival brings in more than 100,000 visitors to the island. The celebration officially kicks off right after Easter, but parties start as early as January and February

St. Lucia Carnival: July 12th to July 19th, 2023

Lucian Mas, or St. Lucia Carnival, honors St. Lucia’s rich culture and heritage. Taking place in July, St. Lucia does it big with high energy, over-the-top costumes and a street parade. This year’s events include the National Carnival Queen Pageant, Parade of the Bands, live music and private parties.

Barbados Crop Over: August 2nd to August 8th, 2023

Barbados’ carnival, or Crop Over, is a three-month long celebration of food, music, arts and culture. The festival dates back to the 17th century and marks the end of the sugar cane season. The biggest event is Grand Kadooment Day, which is the finale event of Crop Over. The parade starts at National Stadium and is a stunning display complete with masquerade bands, colorful costumes adorned with sequins, dancing and music.


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