ALL READY. ALREADY.
" It is a crazy place.
A great big party.
When you receive a last minute invitation to join friends at the infamous Carnival in Barbados. It isn't a hard decision. Once you’ve convinced your director it’s a once in a lifetime experience. And that you must go. It’s even easier!
In Barbados, ‘Carnival’ celebrates the end of the sugar cane season. It lasts just over a month from the end of June through to the start of August. And the grand finale (and it is grand), The Kadooment, takes place on the first Monday of August. Every Year.
The average carnival day starts with each band parading through the town for the judges to assess which groups have gone ‘above and beyond’ with their rainbow-like outfits. And of course how good their ’beats’ are. It’s a spectacle to behold.
The atmosphere is amazing. And the energy is electric. The best piece of advice I can give you? Just grab a local rum punch and let go.
" All ready. Already.
Let the music carry you through! "
From there, it’s not quite a marathon, but it is long. A 10km lively procession. Off you go with the crowds. Singing and dancing. With bars and food carts set up along the way. Plenty of sustenance. No thirst here. And the soundtrack is truly uplifting. Bajan beats to keep you shaking your tail feather!
Pre Carnival, my only hesitation was the obligatory carnival costume... It's almost compulsory to don the colourful, feathery, bejewelled creations. These leave little to the imagination. I was feeling modest. It’s all on show. However as I soon found out, anything goes! Women of all shapes and sizes flaunt what God gave them. With their confidence brimming and Boomerang running.
Lyrically Bajans aren't shy either. Expect songs to take your clothes off to. Lyrics to make you all sweaty.
You're going to need to ‘work, work, work’ Rihanna-style on the dancefloor here too. Everyone remembers their first experience 'wukking up’. Mine was no different. I thought ‘what the hell?’
While you may have danced (just guessing here) with a random fella in Infernos before, you're going to need to get comfortable with strangers. Grinding against you here. Yes. Grinding. It’s pretty up close. It’s a lot like twerking. Every age group joins in. And it’s all harmless fun.
Lasting The Distance
Nobody wants to ‘crash out & miss out’ of their first carnival, so you’re going to need to keep well hydrated too. It's a long hot day peppered with strong rum punch. You’re burning up a lot of energy. If you want to last the course, be (a little) sensible. Drink water. Have some time in the shade. Dance more (it will sober you up).
Eat regularly. I really enjoyed the regular food stops. Locals hosted front garden stalls. Selling delicious home cooked goodies. At fantastic prices. The Bajan fish cakes hit the spot!
Wear comfortable flat shoes too. The roads can get messy (picture it now). While it doesn't feel like it, you walk a very long way. Don’t forget the sunscreen either!! The higher the factor the better. It’s hotter than hot out there.
A small handbag/bumbag is a lifesaver. Think Painkillers. Plasters. Sunscreen.
By Sarah, the soul shaker.