Caribbean Festivals Essay

1495 Words Apr 13th, 2013 6 Pages
Access the importance of any two perennial national festivals in the Caribbean

Carnival is Bacchanal! It is an annual celebration of life found in many countries of the world. Carnival is the time when individuals releases themselves and parade with enjoyment of the various Caribbean local art forms. According to Julia Hewitt “in the Caribbean, carnival as a mode of performing resistance, the memory of repression and sacrifice but also of hope, in a sense of becoming other”. “Caribbean festivals embody an aesthetic formally rooted in the early European, African and Asian traditions brought to the West indies between the 15th and 19th centuries, as well as from 20th century publications, broad casts and artistic movements. Caribbean
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They help individuals to celebrate life, enjoy, let go, carnival brings freedom for a time.

The annual festival in Trinidad and Tobago is called carnival. According to Richard Schechner Trinidad and Tobago carnival emerged in the nineteenth century from the celebrations of liberated enslaved Africans embodying African ways and values and the carnival traditions of Catholic Europe as carried to the Caribbean perhaps by the Spanish and certainly by the French planters-slave owners. Judith Bettleheim ‘The traditions of fancy balls were held where the wealthy planters put on masks, wigs, and beautiful dresses and danced long into the night. The use of masks had special meaning for the slaves, because for many African peoples, masking is widely used in their rituals for the dead. Obviously banned from the masked balls of the French, the slaves would hold their own little carnivals in their backyards using their own rituals and folklore, but also imitating their masters’ behaviour at the masked balls’. Carnival is an essential component of the history of resistance, rebellion and cultural self determination in Trinidad and Tobago. Though, Trinidad and Tobago carnival mass is known internationally, mainly for its grand costumes and massive celebration in Port of Spain. There are also those that still

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