J'ouvert for Carnival
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
J'ouvert for Carnival Port of Spain Reviews
We snuck in with insomniacs and it was a BLAST! Mar 15, 2011
J'ouvert is the unofficial start to Carnival Monday. Various camps gather at different locations. People usually pay under $100 to participate and it usually includes a pre-party at the camp, a shirt, a small back pack, a bar at the camp and/or a bar on the road, some security, a music truck when on the road, and breakfast when you return. The biggest thing is of course the mud and or paint! Some camps have trucks that throw out buckets of paint or mud while others have hoses.
You march down the street jamming to music and dancing with your friends or strangers and every once in a while, paint or mud gets flung from the truck, or you rub up on someone who has it all over them, or some random person comes running up behind you and hugs you and then you're covered.
It is easy to spot the folks who have done this several times. Some of the girls wear shower caps wrapped with a bandana, while others just wear a baseball cap and yet others have their hair available to gather all sorts of colors of paint. If, like me, you just sort of informally attach yourself to a band, you won't have the camp T-shirt, so wear a shirt and shorts that you will be able to throw away later. Wear sneakers you don't care about and may not need to wear again. Flip flops are hard as you can be marching and dancing and whining for 3-4 hours or more. Other attire includes a zip lock bag for the camera and phone (although I wrapped mine up in a bandana when I wasn't using it-and still got paint on it).
If you want to experience j'ouvert and don't expect to get dirty, I wouldn't go if I were you. In previous years, I have had friends wearing fairly nice clothes and spend time hiding from people with cup of mud or squeeze bottles of paint, but inevitably, your cleanliness is an attraction and someone will sneak up on you and paint you all up!
Pictures to come soon!
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