Barbados and Trinidad have two festivals that seem to compete with each other as far as which one is the best: Barbados Crop Over and Trinidad Carnival. Each one is very culture centric so you get to enjoy the music, food and customs, but which one is better will vary greatly depending on who you ask.
Here’s a comparison of Barbados Crop Over vs. Trinidad Carnival, so that you can decide for yourself.
In 2018 Crop Over will begin on June 25 and end on August 8. This near two month event is basically a large party from start to finish. It features Calypso & SOCA music and a lot of competitions. The competition tents hold events where individuals are given songs and they have to outsing everyone else in order to win. These competitions can be fierce! Not only is the singing judged, but the props and choreography is as well. Just like with most festivals, there are tents that sell food and crafts. It seems like every day there are different street parties that tend to crop up out of nowhere. The most festivities usually occur on Kadooment Day. It is a national holiday and performers line the streets while wearing with lavish costumes. Fireworks are set off while Barbadian music is played in the background. If you want to participate and purchase costume, save around $400 to $800 in your budget.
Celebrated each year on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, Carnival dates back to the 18th century. It’s similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans as it started as a way to get in one last hurrah before giving up something for Lent. This is a big event in this country and many individuals actually prepare for it all year long. Soca music has recently replaced calypso as the music of choice for this event. The festivities generally consist of street parades with colorful costumes and highly competitive limbo and stick fighting competitions. One huge competition that airs on TV is the musical competition, Calypso Monarch. Competitors compete not only for notoriety, but cash, a car and a huge trophy among other things. Throughout the Carnival festivities participants wear costumes that are decorated with things like sequins and feathers. They are very elaborate in nature and take days, if not weeks to construct. Costumes cost more in Trindad – starting at around $700 and going up to $1,600 depending on how intricate.
Mellow Versus Wild
The vibes of both festivals are very different. Crop Over is more lively and upbeat. Carnival has a more mellow, yet competitive feel.
It must be noted that the beaches in Barbados are no doubt superior to those in Trinidad. Also I am not ashamed to admit I can be boujie when I travel, and I find that you can have a better selection of 4 and 5 star hotels in Barbados.
You really can’t go wrong by choosing one of these festivals over the other. No matter which one you go too, be prepared for a lot of great music, spontaneous dancing and extravagant costumes.
Other posts that may interest you:
Black Music Festivals 2018