Annual Events - National Pastimes: Festivals, Holidays & Sporting Events
Welcome - to the real Carnival! Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago, the home and root of Carnival!
Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is one of the great experiences of the World. It's a feast in music, partying, dancing and freedom; and it is not a spectator sport - it urges you to join in. Anyone can participate and become as much a part of the festival as the most seasoned masquerader, calypsonian or pannist.
But more than that: Trinidad Carnival is one of the few festivals in the world that is truly a people's festival. It is not a public relations event, but an authentic expression of a musical and extrovert people, rooted deep in their experience and their history. No wonder it has been so widely imitated.
There are Trinidad-style Carnivals everywhere these days not only in Brooklyn and Toronto, Miami and London, but in dozens of other North American and European cities as well as most of the other Caribbean countries. Carnival is Trinidad and Tobago's most successful export.
Many of the costume designs paraded on the streets of the metropolitan cities still come from Port of Spain; Trinidadian designers, singers and musicians work the circuit from one Carnival to the next; no self-respecting Carnival can be without the latest calypsos from Trinidad.
And at the centre of the organising committees you will still find - a Trinidadian.
In Trinidad and Tobago take this as a compliment - so long as we all remember and understand the Caribbean Carnival evolved right here, in Port of Spain, and grew through its infancy and childhood in this city over 160 years ago. The root, the soul of Carnival lies deep in Trinidad and Tobago.
For here, in the difficult years of the late 18th century and early 19th century, still enslaved Trinidadians watched the French Catholic elite of the day riding around to their masked balls, and turned the old European Carnival upside down. They created their own music, their own dance. With emancipation, they took to the streets to make Carnival a festival of freedom and never looked back.
The spirit of Carnival that they forged over the decades still haunts the panyards of Port of Spain, the great J'Ouvert procession of Carnival Monday morning, the impassioned voices of the best calypsonians, the pride and defiance of the traditional masqueraders. Every year as party, still nag themselves a bit, to see whether they are staying true to the spirit of the festival that all of us, deep down recognise.
The amazing underwater heaven is also home to what is reputed to be the world’s largest brain coral. Not surprisingly, Jacques Cousteau named this one of his favorite diving spots. There are plenty of opportunities to engage in sports on both Trinidad and Tobago. Tennis, golf and hiking are popular activities, while spectator sports include soccer, rugby, cricket, and horse and boat racing. The 27-year-old Du Maurier Great Race Classic, a powerboat race between Trinidad and Tobago, is one of the most exciting racing events.
The twin Islands of Trinidad & Tobago commemorated its forty-ninth anniversary of Independence on August 31st 2011. The national holiday was celebrated with functions and parties, a confluence of events took place on each Island and the National Flag was hoisted throughout the country.
The main events were held at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain and Skinners Park, San Fernando. Trinidad & Tobago is a diverse nation known for its colorful Carnival and is the birthplace of Steelpan, Calypso and Limbo.
We all love a good time, and this is the time and place for it. But now you're in the heart of Carnival City, listen for the voices that created this unique festival. Only here will you rediscover the real soul of Carnival, if you care to look.