The twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago are home to flavorful cuisine, idyllic beaches, and locals who draw you in with their song like accents. But come this time of year, from the moment the sun rises over the savannah grass the island becomes home to one thing and one thing only, Trinidad Carnival aka The Greatest Show on Earth. And its title is not up for debate.
Held annually during the week leading up to Lent, carnival in Trinidad is a cultural event celebrating the freedom and emancipation of African slaves on the island. But if you think venturing into the soca kingdom is for the faint of heart, think again. The stamina it takes to endure non-stop fetes like Soca Brainwash, Caesar’s Army’s AMBush, Vale Vibe, and the MC Boat Experience, that literally go from sunup to sundown, means only the strongest of carnival jumpers and soca junkies survive – period.
But all that feteing is only in preparation for the main event, Carnival Tuesday. Also known as ‘Pretty Mas,’ the day is marked by a bacchanal filled, miles-long trek to Queen’s Park Savannah where masqueraders of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, adorned in showstopping colorful costumes complete with feathers and jewels, will cross the stage and compete for Band of the Year. It’s a moment, it’s a vibe and it’s a unique experience that you need to live to truly understand.
If you’ve been hesitating to add Trinidad Carnival to your travel bucket list, these epic photos from this year’s event will fill you with the vibes of soca and make sure that next year, the greatest show on earth includes you.