The Caribbean Tourism Organization has declared 2019 as the Year of Festivals. Comprising Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking countries and territories, the Caribbean offers tourists the luxury of selecting from a wide array of destinations to experience unique cultures and traditions.
“The Year of Festivals will focus on the fascinating events that have become an integral part of the Caribbean tourism calendar. Festivals help to energize communities across the region while giving visitors more reasons to enjoy our destinations,” said Hugh Riley, Secretary General of CTO.
With the Caribbean offering a wonderful blend of culture, beautiful and welcoming people and magnificent sites to see, visitors are definitely going to have a memorable experience.
Here are three significant carnivals with cultural and historical groundings to attend this February if you are thinking of taking a trip to the Caribbean.
Mashramani Carnival – Guyana
Popularly known as the Mash Carnival, Mashramani is celebrated annually on February 23- Guyana’s Republic Day- marked to celebrate the “Birth of the Republic” in 1970.
One of the most significant and most colourful carnivals, the Mashramani originates from the Amerindian language which translates into ‘celebration of a job well done’. The festival is marked with colourful costumes, music, and food that display a culture that has stood the test of time.
Holetown Festival- Barbados
The Holetown Festival is a week-long celebration in Barbados that starts from February 10 and ends on February 17, each year. Through a display of music, dance, food, games, and storytelling, the locals celebrate their culture and history. It is held to commemorate the arrival of the first Africans on the land.
According to history, on February 17, 1627, 10 Africans were brought in by the Europeans to work as slaves thus opening up the island for the arrival of more enslaved Africans.
Trinidad and Tobago Carnival- February
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is celebrated annually in February, just a few days before the Christian Lent season begins. Heavily influenced by the Catholic church, the locals found a way of blending African and European traditions, cultures and beliefs into this festival, popularly acknowledged as a time for release and unity.