National News

Carnival: Season of Sins

The most popular Carnival in the world is the Brazil Carnival, with the least one million tourist, which start on a Friday, 51 days before Easter and ends with Bacchanal Road march on Ash Wednesday. It is seen as the most vibrant and most go event for each year.

Carnival was first celebrated by the Greeks to celebrate their God of wine Dionysus. The Romans then adopted this celebration as a feast to celebrate their God of wine, Bacchus. Ironically, the word Bacchanal, the last day of carnival, means crazed, wild, drunken and sexual party came from the word Bacchus. In Contrast, this festival was later adopted and modified by the Roman Catholics as a festival before Lent. Centuries later, thanks to migration, Carnival is celebrated all over the world mostly by Caribbean Natives.

Keeping up with the tradition of Carnival, it is celebrated before on during the Lent season. Jamaica is the only Caribbean country which celebration continues after Ash Wednesday. In Bahamas and Barbados, they have celebration similar to it, Jonkonnu and Crop Over respectively. These are a series of celebration that takes place in the summer that origin from the enslaved Africans but they also have wild, rivalrous parades just like in Carnival. Another festival that similar to the carnival is Mardi Gras which was created by the Roman Catholic although carnival wasn’t originated by the Catholics. They both were festivals celebrated by the Roman Catholic from Epiphany, January 6, to Ash Wednesday historically.

However in Trinidad, carnival starts on Boxing Day while in Jamaica the festivities continue during the lent.

Carnival was first brought to the Caribbean by French settlers in the twin republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 1783. Though in 1989, Carnival was cancelled due to the impact of Hurricane Gilbert and their general election, which led the carnival revelers to take Carnival to Jamaica in which they continued to celebrate. Both Trinidad and Jamaican Carnival season were then made to not clash even though there was one season traditionally. This allowed carnival revelers to attend both celebrations.

Carnival allowed for the region, tourist and citizens to experience a West Indian vibe of celebration whilst gyrating to their native music that strengthens the region was one. Soca and Dancehall are two popular music in the Region that is normally played due to their rhythmic syncopation and their fast beats. Soca is nevertheless the music of the season as it’s the only genre that really caters for Carnival. Soca artiste usually makes songs build the vibes for the season so everyone is in a blissful mood for the festivities.

Most Carnival celebrations are during lent, yet Jamaica’s Celebration happens from the second week of January throughout the Lent season until the weekend after Easter. Carnival celebrations contain J’ouvert, Beach J’ouvert, Socacise – bi-weekly exercising to Soca, Bacchanal Fridays and on the Final day, Bacchanal Road march. Apart from the organization that put on events for Carnival, there are other carnival-like events that take place such as the University of the West Indies, Ring Road aka UWI Carnival which takes place during their Easter holidays. Jamaica’s Final event for this Carnival season, Bacchanal Road March, will be on April 3, 2016.

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