Music that touches your soul, costumes that leave little to the imagination and a feeling of immense unity are what make up Jamaica’s Bacchanal Carnival. Thousands of people gather together for days on end celebrating with each other through song and mas. Here is a little bit more information about it.
The Oakridge Boys Started It All
The history of Bacchanal begins with The Oakridge Boys. Every year they would attend the Trinidad Carnival, but had to break their annual tradition because of a hurricane. They turned their disappointment into the new tradition of Bacchanal. The main premise behind this carnival is ‘one love’. While there are some similarities to Trinidad’s Carnival, it isn’t meant to compete with it. Jamaica puts their own spin on this event and highlights their unique culture.
What brings many to carnival are the costumes. They take months of planning and designing to get them just right. Each year they are designed after the theme for that year’s festivities. While they each look unique, many of them are similar in that they have elaborate headdresses and show off a lot of skin. You don’t have to be a performer to wear a costume. Many individuals who attend Bacchanal purchase costumes to wear to the event.
The theme for this year’s carnival is “Rebirth”. The annual program for Bacchanal spans from December 2017 through the weekend of April 8. On February 16, 2018 the Mas Camp will open and Bacchanal Fridays will be held with revelling. There will also be other events like Socacise classes that take place each week, Bacchanal J’ouvert, Beach J’ouvert and finally the Road March. One of the interesting things about Bacchanal that sets it apart from many other carnivals is that the climax of the festivities actually occurs on Easter Sunday after Lent. During this week there are activities that take place day and night before the grand finale, the Road March.
How To See Bacchanal
If you are interested in seeing what Bacchanal has to offer for 2018, you still have plenty of time to head over to Jamaica for a girl’s trip or long weekend with your honey. A cruise with a stop in Jamaica is a great way to see Bacchanal. Kingston is your best bet for seeing carnival festivities, in particular during the month of March or the first week of April. One of the benefits of going on a cruise to take part of Bacchanal, as opposed to flying into Jamaica, is that you won’t have to deal with trying to find accommodations as this time of year tends to bring a lot of travelers to the country.