Trinidad likes its Carnival wild and wotless, its revelers unabashed and its partying nonstop. Carnival, or more accurately pronounced, cahneeval, translated loosely means a farewell to flesh, or meat.
Carnival today continues much as it has done for the last two hundred years of its evolution in Trinidad - a national exercise in joy and creativity, harmony and togetherness. Carnival is daring and inventive -long may it reign!
Here we have an insightful article by Grisso that gives us a deeper insight into the African influences upon the Carnivals that we have today across the globe.
The term 'calypso' arose after the art form had been in existence for sometime. Initially the majority of songs were sung in patois. However, during the turn of the century when the people of Trinidad were struggling with the fading of the French patois and the emerging dominance of English.
A generation or two ago, the use of Grenadian-English was frowned on by teachers and parents, a look at our history gives some understanding as to why our conversations today are so liberally sprinkled with a collection of picturesque French Creole words and phrases.
According to some, the carnival was originally a Greek spring festival in honor of the god of wine, Dionysus. The Romans adopted the same tradition with a feast in honor of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, and Saturnalia.
Carnival originated as a festival in ancient Egypt which was subsequently celebrated by the Greeks and then the Romans. The popular festival was adopted by the Roman Catholic Christian church in Europe as the festival of Carne Vale.