Port of Spain, Trinidad (PressReleaser) February 07, 2013 — The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event celebrated on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is the most significant event on the islands' cultural and tourism calendar.
For all the carnival event detail, plus live stream of the parades:
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. The heart of the musical celebration has been calypso; recently soca has replaced calypso as the most celebrated type of music. Costume, stickfighting and limbo competitions are also important components of the festival.
Carnival is also said to have been created in Trinidad and Tobago when the French slaved the africans and when slavery was abolished the african created carnival to celebrate. Carnival also oringinally lasted 2 months but now lasts 2 days. Trinidad's Carnival is said to be the best Carnival in the world and in second Brazil. Today musical competitions make up a large part of formal Carnival; groups and individuals compete hard to win. To be named Calypso Monarch is one of the island's greatest honours, and the competition is aired on television. Along with the honor comes an enormous trophy, a car, TT $500,000 (approx. and possible endorsements and other contracts. Other prestigious titles are the King and Queen of the Bands (; the International Soca Monarch (both Groovy and Power); the Carnival Road March; and Panorama (for steelpan). For the latter, the 2007 prize was TT $1 million . There are also limbo, stickfighting, and other competitions.
As with other Carnivals, many participants wear elaborate costumes, often decorated with feathers and sequins. Carnival "bands" are organized groups made up of participants who pay for costumes fashioned by a designer and assembled by teams of volunteers. The costumed participants dance through the streets to the sounds of a steel band, a soca band or a d.j. - this is called "playing mas'". A unique feature of this parade is that locals and tourists alike participate in the parade of bands. Each band is led by a King and Queen, who wear extremely large costumes, often requiring extensions and wheels to assist the masquerader to carry it through the streets. Each year on Dimanche Gras (Carnival Sunday), a competition is held to award the King and Queen of Carnival title to two of these masqueraders.