Updated: May 26
If you're from the Caribbean, then you probably understand this better than most. The three major elements of any carnival are: dressing in masquerade, music, and dancing. This is constant regardless of the Caribbean territory. Think elaborate costumes, masks, feathers, headdresses, dancing, music, and drums, along with raucous behavior. Men can get away with a shorts and a t-shirt (or none), but for the Women... it's gonna be a production on Beyonce's level.
An entire carnival support industry was created just to support women. One of the unspoken rules as a woman playing mas (Jamaican's say Jumping Carnival) is that whatever you're prepared to spend on your costume, be prepared to spend about half as much on getting ready: Think Carnival Boots, Carnival Makeup, Hair, Body Bronzing, Waxing, Nails, Stockings, Gloss for the road, Carnival Pouch, and possibly a photoshoot before you hit the road.
Women start to get ready for Carnival from as early as midnight. But... if at the end of it all they come out looking like this, then it's certainly worth it.
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The word “carnival” itself is thought to mean “farewell to meat” or “farewell to flesh” the former referencing the Catholic practice of abstaining from red meat from Ash Wednesday until Easter. This festival is known for being a time of great indulgence before Lent (which is a time stressing the opposite), with drinking, overeating, and various other freedoms. Somewhere along the years, it has evolved to become "Freedom of the Flesh" which has since been interpreted as less clothes for women, gyrating and a whole lot of Alcohol on the streets.
Band launches and photo shoots, are primarily about the women, or the "Big Girls" of Carnival. Who's going to be the 'It' girl that is featured on most of the band pages and the girl who's photos literally have the ability to sell-out a sections. We'll probably have to do an entire blog on the 'It Girls of Carnival'. For now... meet Marissa
Soca music itself literally speaks to how women should behaving (dancing), should look, and what onlookers should be focusing on. The music is suggestive and raunchy... but most importantly it is 'Happy People Music'.
Carnival... is indeed WOMAN.
Next Blog " The Big Girls Of Carnival"