Trinidad and Tobago Carnival in the streets of Port of Spain in the 1950s (1953 or 1954). It was and still is one of the greatest street parades in the world – originated during the period of slavery when slaves, banned from their masters’ balls and parties, would improvise by staging their own costumed event in their quarters. After Emancipation, the former slaves challenged the plantation owners to host their Carnival.


Place: Port of Spain /
Trinidad and Tobago
Time: 1950s
Film: Normal 8
Frame Rate: 18 Pictures/Sec.  
Cutout: 1:39 Min.
Length Original: 4 Min.
Original-Scan: 2K
Web-Video: 720p
Remarks: Slight Grain Reduction

Since then, Carnival has evolved into an attraction for Trinidad and Tobago. These celebrations take place on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in February or March. Activities on the two days take the form of street parades by bands of costumed masqueraders. A Carnival band could comprise as many as 3,000 masqueraders. To control this number of people on the streets, organisers would divide the band into sections of 200 to 500 masqueraders. Most Carnival bands are led by a King or Queen, some of whom had competed on Dimanche Gras (Carnival Sunday) in order to win the coveted title of King or Queen of Carnival.

The epicenter for the two-day Parade of the Bands in Trinidad and Tobago is Port of Spain, similar street parties are held at the sister capital San Fernando and at community level in Mayaro, Chaguanas, Arima and Tobago. It’s generally felt the best place to have a good time is in town so this is where many revelers journey in order to take part in the festivities. Another component of Carnival is the parade of traditional characters. These characters are from an earlier era and quite ingenious.

Harald Hofstetter

Journalist, geboren am 7. Mai 1976.
Lebt in Wien, stammt aus Gänserndorf (NÖ).

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