Carnival in Town
Posted on February 20, 2015
Port of Spain is usually synonymous with scores of people in school uniforms, work suits and vagrant rags bustling past each other. During the day these people barely pay attention to each other.
For two days each year Port of Spain is covered by a Great Parade, a Street Festival called Carnival. This Carnival is something unlike any other festival you may have ever experienced.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago, long ago agreed to allow the streets of Port Of Spain to be used by its citizens for this ‘Great Parade’. This parade is not about showing off, but about freedom, expression and love. The primary dance is wining, a vibrant shaking of the waistline in a rhythmic motion to the beat of our native ‘soca’ music. This dance is most often engaged in with a partner or two. During this dance one’s waistline would collide and somehow telepathically each person’s gyration would be in unison. The streets would be engulfed with thousands of happy people, all revelling in the excitement of this dance, coupled with the common ‘jump and wave’ in sync with the loud soca music which is audible from anywhere in the city.
During this Great Parade, it hardly matters which country, city or town you came from, all that matters is that you are here now. See what I mean below:
The Greatest Show on Earth
This year I spent my time primarily on the House of Bachanal Truck with Fantasy Carnival.(Music, Food and Drinks are all stored and distributed from trucks which move along the parade route). This truck was pure ecstasy! I’m accustomed to chipping on the pavement, or at best in a band. This time I sat in the lap of luxury in the air conditioned cabin, able to request (from the dj) whatever tune (song) I felt for with coolers of champagne and punchy punch(rum cocktail) at my feet. I could barely fit on the couch as I often shared it with some of the prettiest creatures GOD created adorned and bejewelled with rare gems from Persia — and this one extra committed masquerader with crutches. (see 1:12 of the video)
To catch a birds eye view of this festival I would climb the staircase to the top deck and fly my camera high in the air.
From the top deck (of the House of Bachanal music truck) I captured an angle of Mas that has lead me to appreciate the way the country is transformed into a happy nation. People danced on anything and with anyone. There seemed to be no boundaries. We could never get depressed here I thought, and if we ever do, we must think of this moment.