Welcome to Trinidad

Annual Events

JANUARY
Carnival activity begins in the mas camps, panyards and calypso tents, and the fete season warms up rapidly. The Chutney Soca Monarch and National Chutney Monarch competitions get under way.

This is the month of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Muslim festival that marks the end of the Ramadan month of fasting.

In sport, the cricket month begins, with regional Red Stripe Cup matches, there is the CL Financial Open golf tournament, and the Citibank International game fishing Tournament
FEBRUARY
This is carnival month, and all parties, soca and calypso, panyards, mas-camps and competitions moves to the big climax at the mid of the month with J'Ouvert and the two-day masquerade.

Port of Spain holds the biggest festival, but there are celebrations in most of the main centres across the island. The season winds down with Champs in Concert, and the popular talk tent.
MARCH
The turtle watching season begins, and last till July: several beaches along the north and north-east coast are popular nesting sites for these huge endangered species.

The Cricket season is in full swing, game fishermen gather for the Citibank Kingfish Tournament. The Hindu festival of Phagwa is celebrated in centres across the country.

The 30th is a public holiday to mark the liberation of the Shouter Baptist community, one of Trinidad's most important religious movements, which was banned under the colonial authorities from 1917 to 1951.
APRIL
A series of festivals start in Point Fortin. Easter brings sporting events including the cycling Grand Prix and the Easter Guineas horse-racing event in Arima.

The Hosay festival, celebrated in Trinidad since 1846, is staged in St. James and other centres (e.g. Tunpuna, Couva) over three nights, with its drumming and glittering Tadjahs and dancing moons; originally commemorating the martydoms at the Battle of Kerbala in 640.
MAY
Three weeks after Easter, crowds gather in Sipiria for the festival of La Divina Pastora, symbolized by a small statue in the town's Catholic Church which is also venetrated by Hindus as Soparee Mai, the mother of Saparia.

In Port of Spain. Pan Ramajay is a virtuoso steelband competition for small steel ensembles, while indigenous rapso music is celebrated with its own festival and the national Song Festival is held.

The whitsun weekend is marked by the Trinidad and Tobago Marathon and the Whitsun horse racing classic. The 31st is a public holiday Marking the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers in 1845.

Public holidays this month for Corpus Christi, when the Roman Catholic community processes through Port of Spain. The local festival series moves to Couva for the Sugar and Energy Festival, marking the end of the sugar crop and the growth of the west coast gas and petrochemical industries. Then to Toco to celebrate local cultural traditions.

In Blanchisseuse, by the Marianne River, Hindus gather for the annual Ganga Dashara, the local version of the world's oldest river festival.
JULY
The season stage moves to the Arimafest, a season of music and sport, culture and craft, that continues into August.
AUGUST
The Great race for power boats from Trinidad to Tobago, and celebrations for Emancipation Day (1st), marking the end of enslavement in the English speaking Caribbean since 1838 and now a showcase for African tradition and culture and ancestral pride.

The 31st is a public holiday marking Trinidad and Tobago independence from Britain in 1962.The Santa Rosa Festival in Arima celebrates the Carib community.
SEPTEMBER
A big month for horse racing with the Royal Oak Derby, the Santa Rosa Oaks and the Caribbean Champion Stakes. The 24th is Republic Day, marking the country's move to republican status in 1976.
OCTOBER
Ramleela is celebrated when Hindu communities at about 20 villages re-enact stories from the Ramayana, with music and costumed dancers.

The National Folk Festival gets on the way giving communities from all over the country a chance to showcase their dance, drama, music and cuisine, and the schools steel orchestra show their talent.
NOVEMBER
Divali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated all over Trinidad, its thousands of flickering deyas preceded by a season of celebration at the Divali Nagar site just outside Chaguanas. Divali celebrates the triumph of good over evil by honouring Laksi, goddess of light, beauty, riches and spiritual wealth.

Christmas is in the air already, with the annual Christmas Parade in downtown Port of Spain and Parang music warming up around the country, especially in traditional centres like Lipinot and Paramin. The Pan jazz musicians and local steelpan stars, and the National Pan Chutney Competition takes place in Chaguanas.
DECEMBER
Christmas takes over, for a month of festivity and hospitality - parties, socializing, end-of-year musical and theatre events. Parang is the unique Spanish-descended Christmas music of Trinidad

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