The History of Carnival

Carnival originated in Trinidad when slavery was abolished in 1834. The freed slaves took to the streets in celebration of their new freedom, singing and dancing in one big street party.

Over the years it has evolved into the greatest show on earth that we know today. It is also comprised of many different components. All of these components contribute to the final crescendo on Carnival Tuesday.

A vital element of this celebration is "Jour Vert" Pronounced as "joovay." Jour Vert marks the beginning of the two-day street parade. The competition starts at 2:00 a.m. on Carnival Monday and goes to about noon. (The Galveston Jour Vert celebration will start on Friday evening) The competition comprises of two categories bands, and individuals. Many of our large Steel Drum bands come out to entertain their fans. The individual masqueraders portray a wide variety of characters depicting a scene or person from play, movie, or even a political leader. Those taking part in the competition are all in costume, and in everything there is humor. The costumes are portrayed with a comical twist to bring laughter. The bands in the parade choose a theme that is depicted on a larger banner. This banner is displayed in the front by two masqueraders.

Some bands still play the traditional "Ole Mas" of decades ago. Two examples of which are: Blue Devils and Mud Mas. In the devil bands the masqueraders would paint any exposed skin with blue dye, horns on their heads, tails attached to the costume, and large forks to hold in the hand. In the mud bands the masqueraders are all dressed in the same T-shirts, but more importantly are covered from head to toe in mud. It is not uncommon to find many of our local and foreign professionals such as doctors and lawyers in these "Ole Mas" bands.

Finally, the judging is over and King and Queen of "Jour Vert" are chosen. Awards are also given to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in the band category. The preparation is now on the way for the greatest show on earth of color, genius, and pageantry Parade of the Bands which starts later that afternoon and ends at midnight Tuesday.

Carnival originated in Trinidad when slavery was abolished in 1834. The freed slaves took to the streets in celebration of their new freedom, singing and dancing in one big street party.

Over the years it has evolved into the greatest show on earth that we know today. It is also comprised of many different components. All of these components contribute to the final crescendo on Carnival Tuesday.

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