The Trinidad & Tobago Carnival
Picture the scene – colour, excitement and vibrancy. Add to that a huge dash of socialising, friendship and happiness. Don’t forget the music and dancing!
See the ‘Event Extras‘ for the trip info
We’re talking about the best things that life has to offer. You’re picturing the Trinidad & Tobago Festival right there..
One of the biggest carnivals in the world
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is a true destination of fun and one of the best carnivals on the planet. The festival begins on March 4, 2019, and finishes late on March 5.
The preparation, however, goes on for days or even weeks beforehand. This is without a doubt the most significant and most important event on the island across the year.
Third only to the Rio Carnival in Brazil and the Tenerife carnival, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is a celebration of epic proportions. We’re talking history and culture, new friendships and a huge coming together of communities. We’re talking general merriment.
Put simply, if you get the chance to go, grab it with both hands!
Enjoy the Crowd
During the carnival, the island is packed with visitors, and this is the busiest time of the year to visit. You shouldn’t let this put you off, as crowds all dressed in huge, exuberant costumes, all having fun and mingling together is something you shouldn’t miss.
Known worldwide for its bright and colorful vibe, let’s learn a little more about the Trinidad & Tobago Festival, and help you plan your own exciting visit!
What’s The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival About?
For two days, the island of Trinidad & Tobago becomes a hotbed of colour, celebration, and serious fun. While celebrations go on all over the island.
The main carnival is centred on the main streets of the island’s capital, Port of Spain. If you expect to be able to go about your regular daily business in the capital during these two days, forget it, it’s not going to happen! Everyone is alive with merriment and excitement, and normal life hits pause!
The Locals and the carnival
The locals are either enjoying the festivities themselves, conducting them, or preparing for them during this time. Such as the importance of the carnival itself.
Many locals look back into Caribbean history at this time, but the feeling is far from sombre, it is turned on its head into a true celebration. Music is everywhere, dancing is plentiful, and excessive food and drink are a must do!
Getting a Costume and what people wear
The festival is held annually on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. This means it moves around according to the exact date every year. The festival is known worldwide for being a true rival to Rio’s massive carnival on the streets of the Brazilian city.
If you want a general idea of what people wear to the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, just think of Rio, and you’re not far wrong! It is not acceptable to not wear a bright costume, usually decorated with stones, gems, and feathers!
Securing your costume is something you need to do well ahead of time. Let’s be honest, there are thousands of people attempting to wear the same thing as you, and a costume is everything at this event. If you’re not over the top, you’re not doing it right, and every islander will agree.
What you’ll see during the carnival
So, what can you expect to see at the Trinidad & Tobago Festival? This isn’t an exhibition, so you’re not going to find market stalls and people selling you things. This is more about a massive party and celebration.
That means that the streets of the capital are going to be filled with people wearing the aforementioned huge and bright costumes, street processions of group dancing and music, plentiful drinking of local rum, and a lot of eating of local food too.
There are also many different competitions on offer too, and these make up some of the most important parts of the carnival.
While you need to be a local to be crowned, they’re great to watch. For instance, the lucky winner of the Calypso Monarch wins money, a car, and serious island fame. There are many other competitions to check out, including Calypso King or Queen, Soca King or Queen, the list goes on!
It’s a great idea to download some soca and calypso music before you go. Perhaps have a listen to it on the plane, because you’ll hear it everywhere once you land. Get into the island spirit by letting the beat find its way into your soul.
You’ll be one step ahead of everyone else in the competitions. You’ll also see a lot of stick fighting and limbo competitions going on, as these are mainstays of the carnival’s history. It’s fascinating to check out, so be sure to keep your eyes open across the streets of the capital.
In terms of what to see, it’s really a case of being in the right place at the right time. The bands and music begin on the Monday at around 11 am, although you’ll see celebrations starting much earlier than that.
On Tuesday, the final day of the carnival, you’ll notice that the bands and the processions begin earlier, so remember to set your alarm!
So Why Trinidad and Tobago Carnival?
The Trinidad & Tobago Carnival is a fun-filled experience. One which will fill your camera memory card with visual reminders of your time. Of course, your mind will be filled with more valuable memories, if you can remember them after all the partying!
Make your costume as exuberant as possible. Go for as much colour and bling as you can. Really party it up to make the most of your experience.
While many people visit Trinidad & Tobago throughout the year, for the sun, beaches, and chilled out vibe, if you visit during the two days of the carnival, then you see a truly different and unique side of this sunny location.
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival really will be an experience you’ll never forget.