Caribbean Weekly: Barbados’s Rich In Tradition “Crop Over”
Crop Over Is the carnival of beautiful Barbados. It’s given that title because the festival evolved from a celebration of the last harvest of sugarcane crop. During the days of slavery, the African slaves on the island were given a period to dance, beat drums and imitate their colonial masters. Today, the festival is a major event on the Caribbean calendar, whipping Bajans into a carnival frenzy and luring many more from overseas to the shores of Barbados.
One of the hottest festivals in the world, it officially lasts for eight weeks starting in July and ending in a big “jump up” or street jam called “Grand Kadooment” on the first Monday of August. But beware, one can catch the contagious “festival fever” with symptoms that will make one “sweat fah days” with non-stop partying, drinking, eating, lyming and enjoying the wealth of cultural activities. From as early as May, soca and calypso bands are ready to go, and costume bands have already launched their stuff.
Even though there is so much to do, there are definitely a handful of events that one cannot afford to miss? The Party Monarch soca competition, held on the scenic east coast of the island, draws tens of thousands to a spot called the Calypso bowl where patrons picnic and wukk up! For those that don’t know “wukkin up” is the sweet whining and gyration of the waist line to the pulsating rhythms of the Crop Over music. It is the only dance for the season so get to know it!
Article adapted from ROOM 246 Barbados Crop Over 2006 by Shamoke Pilé BACKAYARD Magazine Issue #5- The CrossOver Issue