WHAT IS CANIVAL ?, ITS ORIGINS AND HISTORY
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in Trinidad and Tobago. The event is well known for participants' colourful costumes and exuberant celebrations. Carnival is the most significant event on the islands' cultural and tourism calendar, with numerous cultural events running in the lead up to the street parade on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. It is said that if the islanders are not celebrating it, then they are preparing for it, while reminiscing about the past year's festival. Traditionally, the festival is associated with calypso music; however, recently soca has replaced calypso as the most celebrated type of music. Costumes, stick-fighting and limbo competitions are also important components of the festival. The Mas tradition started in the late 18th century with French plantation owners from Martinique organizing masquerades and balls before enduring the fasting of Lent. Indentured labourers and slaves copied and lampooned their masters, and once set free from forced labour, their frustrations found a platform in clever calypso lyrics mocking their former masters, and then their political leaders. Carnival had arrived with the French, the slaves, who could not take part in Carnival, formed their own, parallel celebration called Canboulay. Canboulay (from the French Cannes brulées, meaning burnt cane) is a precursor to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, and had played an important role in the development of the music of Trinidad and Tobago. The festival is also where calypso music through chant wells had taken its roots. In 1797, Trinidad became a British crown colony, with a French-speaking population. Stick fighting and West African percussion music were banned in 1880, in response to the Canboulay Riots and British laws at the time. They were replaced by bamboo sticks beaten together, which were themselves banned in turn. In 1937 they reappeared,...
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