Trinidad's Carnival has many influences due to its rich cultural background and colorful mix of ethnic and racial backgrounds. The French introduced Carnival when they arrived in 1783 in the form of masquerade balls. Not being able to participate in the festivities, slaves would hold their own celebrations incorporating African influences. In 1838 after slavery was abolished, the freed Africans took to the streets to celebrate.
Today, Trinidad Carnival starts right after Christmas, you start hearing the new music and everyone counts down to the most intense week ever!
Carnival is uninhibited mas, wildness, revelry and bass thumping that bring people of all races and nationalities together for a week of nonstop feting.
J'ouvertJ'ouvert is a traditional festival which marks the unofficial start of Carnival, which takes place on the Monday before Ashe Wednesday. The festival, with origins in Trinidad, traditionally begins at 2 a.m. and continues until mid-morning on Monday. J'Ouvert revellers cover their bodies in coloured paints, mud, pitch oil, dress as blue or red devils to dance the streets as an expression of liberation from the constraints of the past and in celebration of the ancestors who have gone before them.
J'ouvert is celebrated in many countries throughout the Caribbean. It is believed to have its foundation in Trinidad & Tobago's Carnival history with roots steeped in the French Afro-Creole traditions such as Camboulay. J'Ouvert celebration involves calypso/soca bands and their followers dancing through the streets