In my last blog entry I mentioned that I have reserved a special post just for Carnival but after long deliberation I have decided that this deserves not one but two blog entries as I am most eager to write and share my experiences playing J’ouvert and seeing Mas for the first time. Today I have chosen to share my first ever J’ouvert experience with you.
As we all know, Carnival is one of the main events in Trinidad and Tobago and it was recently celebrated. It has played a major part in shaping our culture. It has helped to develop tourism as visitors from all around the world come to our shores to be a part of this spectacular event. Out of curiosity I decided to take part in J’ouvert.
What I learnt is that J’ouvert is a french word which means dawn/day break and is an important aspect to our Carnival as it marks the start of the two days parade. This event takes place in the streets on Carnival Monday from as early as 2 o’ clock until the sun rises.
My friends and I got up at around four a.m and headed to Rio Claro, our hometown. As we made our way to the town we could hear the sweet sound of soca music. There were lots of trucks with D.Js. The bands on J’ouvert morning mainly consisted of ole mas portraying jab- jab, mud mas or images of individuals. At J’ouvert you would definitely understand what is meant by “Who playing mas, cant be afraid of powder.” There were lots of powder being sprayed around, even mud, paint, and yes, chocolate. The use of alcohol seemed to be a must. Most of the people taking part appeared to be highly intoxicated. However, I must commend the protective services, for being on high alert and for ensuring that things were under control at all times.
At this time one can scarcely resist “wining” and “chipping” to the sounds of the music. I myself, seemed very involved for a first timer. It was nice seeing locals and foreigners dancing and partying together. It was as though everyone was stressed free with no worries in the world. I liked the fact that everyone could be at harmony. People were painting each other, dancing together and chanting along to songs of Machel Montano, Patrice Roberts and Bunji Garlin, just to name a few of the popular soca singers in Trinidad and Tobago.
They say, time passes by when you are having fun and it definitely did on J’ouvert morning. Before I knew it the sun was up and at promptly 10 o’ clock they announced that J’ouvert was over but trust me, this wasn’t the case. As people left the streets they flocked to bars and beaches. This was the start of Carnival. Two days of enjoyment and entertainment followed. Two days to forget all your worries and be part of an experience of a lifetime. This was my first but definitely not my last. It marked the start of “The greatest show on Earth” taking place in the home of Carnival, Trinidad and Tobago.