The ABC's of Carnival

I spotted this article in the online version of the T&T Express and thought is was really cute. Hope all masqueraders are having a time on de road!!!

The ABC's of Carnival
by Marguerite Gordon (Trinidad & Tobago Express)

A is for attention - be aware of what is going on around you, who's looking at who, where your partner is and where you are.


B is for bold - some of these players are very...well bold. So you have to be a bit bold too. Dance with others and let others dance with your partner, but know how to firmly reclaim your 'territory'. B is also for the band, and no, not the musical kind, but a band of masqueraders in their costumes moving together and having a ball in the streets.

C is for Calypsonians, those wonderful, witty and (mostly) wise men and women who are the stars of this festival. C is also for "chipping", that laid back, slow, easy way to move in your band and last for two days. Don't forget to bend your knees!

D is for the drinks and daredevils. Drink and be merry, but always have a designated driver; and dare to do something crazy, like dying your hair to match your costume, or flirting with someone you never did before and do not intend to do so after Carnival.

E is for energy. You have to have a lot of it. Make sure you walk and or join a gym before Carnival to get ready for your time on the road.

F is for fun, fun, fun, as well as some innocent flirting.

G is for great food, great music, great parties and great costumes.

H is for the hot and spicy soup, especially the corn variety in Trinidad, that is a must at Carnival time.

I is for - "I man having fun!"

J is for jumping up in the band.

K is for kiss; a quick one stolen from someone you've had your eye on. Just be sure they don't belong to someone else!

L is for loving your life and all the fun you're having at Carnival.

M is for manners. If you bump into someone or step on some toes, still apologise quickly; you can never be having so much fun that you forget your manners. And M is for mas too, that's what you're playing!

N is for no, thank you. Feel free to use it whenever: if you don't want to dance, or accept that drink from a stranger, or go mingle with a different group.

P is for the pandemonium of the music and the sweet sound of the steel pans, the heart and soul of Carnival.

Q is for quick. You have to move quickly to get up front, to get that drink, to get back to your wayward partner. Just who is she/he flirting with?

R is for rest. Catch up on some down time when you have the chance; the best time is when the band is resting too. Just grab a seat and rest your feet.

S is for swivel neck action, that quick, smooth turn of the head when players are looking at some gorgeous member of the opposite sex.

T is for tight. Try not to have you or your costume too tight.

U is for useless, as in why try and stop the bacchanal? Just give in!

V is for victory. You are sure your band has won, the crowd adored your costumes, and you have survived two days on the road!

W is for wining and water. Drinks lots of water to stay hydrated as you gyrate your hips - that's the wining that doesn't involve grapes - to the Carnival beat.

X is for X marks the spot, when he or she finally caught your eye.

Y is for yummy. Did you see that fine looking specimen that just passed?

Z is for zealot, a Carnival zealot that is, because that's exactly what you'll be after one trip to Trinidad and Tobago for carnival!

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