Published on February 25th, 2017 | by Michael Garcia
Let the Carnival Begin – Trinidad and Tobago.
Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago has a way of heightening your senses and satisfying your hunger for fun! Every year, thousands of tourists flock to this Caribbean paradise to partake in one of the world’s most beautiful expression of music, dance and culture. From February 27 and February 28, Carnival showcases the brightest and most innovative elements of Trinidadian culture.
But how did it all begin?
Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is celebrated right before the beginning of Lent. Its roots can be traced back to the late 18th century when French settlers developed their Carnival that featured dinners, concerts and hunting parties. This Carnival was pretty long and lasted from Christmas to Ash Wednesday. Later, in the early 19th century after the Emancipation Bill was passed, Africans incorporated “Canboulay” into the festivities. The events were eventually celebrated on Dimanche Gras, the Sunday before the traditional French Carnival. From these two influential groups, Carnival morphed into the massive street party it is today.
For two days, locals and carnival-lovers from around the globe are decked out in the most glamourous and colourful costumes, also known as ‘mas’. Along with the sweet sounds of soca music, they flood the streets of the country’s capital, Port of Spain. Trinidad Carnival is an experience for both the young and the young at heart.
Whether you’re ‘wowing’ the crowd with your mesmerizing costume or you’re just a spectator soaking it all up, there will come a time when you get hungry. Fortunately, you are surrounded by some of the most delectable dishes and restaurants imaginable.
Tantalize Your Taste Buds.
Traditional Trinidadian foods such as hot doubles, roti and creole cuisine like macaroni pie and stewed chicken can all be found along the streets. But, if you want to mix it up a bit then head to St. James, which is also in Port of Spain. Here you’ll find lively bars, fast food restaurants like Royal Castle (Trinidad’s version of KFC, a must-try), Chinese-Trinidad style cuisine, and tantalizing BBQ fare. If you want fine and casual dining restaurants, head to Aripita Avenue.
The celebrations come to an end on Ash Wednesday. The streets are quiet from the two days of festivities, but the beaches are bustling. It’s a time for masqueraders to kick back from the two days of bacchanal and relax – lovingly referred to by the locals as ‘liming.’
Maracas Beach is located on the north side of the island and is only an hour from the capital. The drive to Maracas Beach is filled with mountainous winding roads, lush greenery and an array of lookout points where travellers can capture its natural beauty and picturesque scenery.
You can continue your culinary adventure by trying Maracas’ famous bake and shark, which is freshly caught shark, fried to perfection, between two fried dough bakes, topped with your selection of condiments and sides. This is truly one of the highlights of visiting Maracas Beach.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival is a spectacle to behold. The only way to really enjoy it, is for you to experience it. For more information, call one of our CAA Travel Consultants at 1-800-922-8143 or visit your local CAA Store.
© 2017 CAA South Central Ontario
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