Monday, February 25, 2008


J'ouvert is the raw heart of Trinidad carnival. It is a massive, night-time street party that begins in central Port of Spain in the middle of the night, about 3:30 in the morning to be exact, before the daytime carnival parades. Really it is a continuation of the 'fetes', the parties, of the night before, as tens of thousands of revellers spill out onto the streets looking for more fun. They dance till dawn and beyond - j'ouvert (pronounced jouvay) is a creole corruption of the French jour ouvert.

The streets were full of the sound of steel pan bands and the sights of mud / axle grease / chocolate / and paint splattered grinding bodies... You simply have to see the antics to believe it! Surely, if you walk by looking too clean or too smart, you will be the easiest target for someone that has already gotten a dirty head start to come up and give you nice big bear hug!!! Granted - that's practically how it went down for me but I embraced it with open arms because I wanted to be a part of the tradition and take the experience for everything it was worth. So NO! that's not new highlights my friends, that's a head full of mud dried hours later! What a feeling of rejuvenation!!!

...After all was said and done, it took hosing me down in the backyard and 3 hair washes to recover!!!

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