Posts tagged ‘Trinidad Carnival’

August 15, 2012

The History of the Trinidad Carnival, by Aziza Kendrick

Considered the “mother of all West Indian carnivals,” the celebration known as Trinidad Carnival has inspired imitators all over the world, and is considered one of the greatest festivals on Earth. The origins of this event date back to the 18th century, when French Catholic planters moved to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. During the Christmas season and prior to Lent, the planters held loud, lavish masquerade balls that came to serve as the progenitor of Carnival.

Following the freeing of slaves in 1838, the British government, which had political control over Trinidad, attempted to ban much of the ribaldry that was a part of Carnival festivities. However, the government was unable to suppress the traditions. Eventually, the British permitted a celebration to take place on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. Today, Carnival serves as a reminder of Trinidadian independence because of this history.

About the Author: A student at the University of St. Thomas, Aziza Kendrick currently is completing the school’s Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration dual degree program. Ms. Kendrick, who is of Trinidadian heritage, enjoys visiting Trinidad and witnessing its Carnival celebration.