Two cultural expression of Trinidad and Tobago



Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is considered “The Greatest Show On earth”. It attracts tourist from all over the world to the island. Carnival is held annually for two day, Monday and Tuesday, and before Ash Wednesday. Officially, it begins at 4 a.m. (J’ouvert) on Monday with J’ouvert characters. People parade through the streets.

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The History of Carnival

Carnival was introduced by the French who celebrated the pre-lenten period (extending from Christmas to Ash Wednesday). with various festivities. These festivities consist of concerts, disguise balls, dinners and fetes.

The Africans started to participate in these festivities after the Emancipation Bill was passed. They added Canboulay to its festivies.

List of Some Carnival Characters

  1. Pirates,
  2. Red Indians,
  3. Bats,
  4. Robbers,
  5. Moko Jumbie,
  6. Devils, and
  7. Jab Molassies.
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There are a number of activities or competitions during Carnival. They are: Steel band Competition, Dimanche Gras, Panorama Finals, Chutney Soca Monach, Junior Carnival Competition, Calypso and Soca Monarch Competition, Road March, King and Queen of the Band, and Band of the year.

The National Stick-Fighting competition is held every year leading up to Carnival. Stick-fighting is a martial art tradition that can be traced back to Central and West Africa.

Carnival is important in many ways. It brings much enjoyment while it allows people to express their creativity. However, above all, it provides much employment and additional income to many in the hospitality industry. Carnival benefits many professionals and give income to many skills. The country gets economic gain through Carnival.

However, Carnival can encourage licentious behaviour among people who are easily carried away with the revelry. There is much indecency and drunkenness. This can lead to alcohol related accidents, criminal activities, and the spread of diseases.

Dimanche Gras – 2018 Calypso Monarch Final

Chutney Soca Monarch Finals 2017

Panorama Finals 2020

Carnival Characters

Tobago Heritage Festival

Every year, the Tobago Heritage Festival showcase the unique and proud cultural traditions of the island. The festival is held over two weeks from mid-July to Emancipation Day (1st August). Each year a different village host the festival – the activities focuses on the history of the area.

The Events are: ole time mas, ole time dance, old time wedding, limbo, the belle dance, harvest festivals, goat race, and stick fighting.

Tobago Goat Race

The Belle Dance

Tobago Heritage festival 2020


Click on the links to download PDF Worksheets.