August 8-9, 2011
Take a warm August Caribbean day.
Add Music: Calypso, Steel drums, Soca, and other traditional rhythms.
Mix with bright, colorfully-costumed dancers and musicians atop or around decorated floats
And set amid thousands of spectators dancing along the procession route.
You have yourself Carnival.
Serves more than you can imagine.
Though many locales celebrate before Ash Wednesday, such as Haiti, Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago, others celebrate in August, including Antigua and Barbados, Grenada, and, of course, Notting Hill. Today Grenada celebrates Carnival.
The festival has its roots in the synthesis of French-Catholic and West African cultures in the Caribbean in the 16th though 19th centuries.
Traditions include the crowning of a Calypso King or Monarch, Battle of the Steel Bands (Panorama) and J’Ouvert–the wild parade of the festival occurring from the middle of the night till just before dawn.