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Friday, January 25, 2013

Trinidad Carnival 2013: J'OUVERT Registration Is ON!!! ...But What Is J'ouvert?

Trinidad Carnival is February 11 and 12, 2013...short season, and one of the last loose ends to tie up in January is usually deciding how to get DUTTY...not dirty, DUTTY... "dutty mas", as j'ouvert is affectionately known, is the traditional opening of carnival morning, the break from the old to the new, the process of cleansing and renewal, the breaking free from the darkness and despair of the whips and chains of slavery on cane plantations (cane is what rum and molasses come from) to a new day as a free man (or woman), and other deep symbolism that is tied to the arrival of the Lenten season and the history of many of the Caribbean islands...

The annual carnival season began long ago, and the entire tradition in Trinidad is over 200 years old, but the first day of the actual parade begins with j'ouvert processions through the streets at ungodly hours of morning in all forms of characters and all manner of concoctions as you greet the dawn and the breaking day (j'ouvert is a shortened form of the French "daybreak").

Dame Lorraine characters in Trinidad (kiddies) Carnival 2012
You will see blue devils, you will see red devils, you will see jab molassie, you will see rat bat, you will see moko jumbie, you will see Dame Lorraines, you will see Pierrot Grenades (Pitchy-Patchy in Jamaica), but most of all, what you notice is some hardcore pounding soca (and some groovy moments to catch your breath) and MUD, PAINT, OIL, CHOCOLATE galore!

But...what exactly does j'ouvert look like?

Get it, got it? Good!

So we get the historical aspect of the triumph of good/day over evil/night... Now, how do you become a part of this madness?

Pick from the j'ouvert bands launching (or already launched, like Chocolate City and Dirty Dozen, and for sure Caesar's Army long ago) and if you need help registering, contact Eloquence, Inc. to arrange your registration ASAP!!!!  Please note Caesar's Army does alternative j'ouvert on SATURDAY morning, but even if already registered with them, you can, as my fellow blogger Lehwego would say, "do the double!" and play j'ouvert Monday too!  Only for the STRONG! Please note that chocolate bands use oil based chocolate, it washes right off!

(caption underneath picture tells you what you're getting dirty, messy, j'ouvert style in):

Bubble Bath J'ouvert - uses foam

Chocolate City J'ouvert - uses chocolate
Cocoa Devils J'ouvert - uses chocolate

Caesar's Army J'ouvert (SATURDAY not MONDAY) - uses paint

Dirty Dozen J'ouvert - uses mud, paint

Fantasies J'ouvert - uses paint

Fantasies J'ouvert - uses paint

Gloww J'ouvert - uses paint (and I would assume it's neon paint? If interested let me know and I'll find out)

iCandy J'ouvert - uses paint

Insomniacs J'ouvert (iJouvert) - uses paint

Jungle Fever J'ouvert - uses mud

Mudders International - uses mud

Mas Jumbies J'ouvert - uses traditional characters

Red Devils J'ouvert - uses paint

Mystique J'ouvert - uses mud?, paint, and provides women a bottom piece as well as the top

Paintology J'ouvert - uses paint

Red Ants J'ouvert (associated with TRIBE) - uses paint

Section 8 J'ouvert - uses mud, paint

Shades J'ouvert -  uses paint?

Simply J'ouvert - uses mud

Stormer's J'ouvert - uses paint

Whyte Angels J'ouvert

Whyte Angels J'ouvert - uses wings and paint

Which will you choose this carnival Monday?

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