Where:- National Stadium, Bridgetown, Barbados.
The most animated island of Caribbean, Barbadoscomes into its true colors in the month of August as the entire Island nation celebrates their world famous festival- ‘The Crop Over Festival’! The entire nation comes into life as the cheerful Barbadians indulge in the three days carnival that revives the old sugar cane harvesting celebration during the colonial days on the Island!
Why They celebrate Crop Over Festival?
The origin of the festival takes us back to the 1780’s, when Barbados was a British Colony that had the reputation of being the world’s largest sugar producer! This most colorful celebration on the Island used to be held to mark the end of that year’s successful sugar cane harvest.
However, the sugar industry in Barbados gradually went down resulting in the decline of the festival hype among the locals. By the year 1940, the event got wrapped up completely. The fun loving Barbadians just couldn’t quite cope up with the termination of their favorite festival & it was revived once again in 1974 with some add-ons to display the eventful Barbadian culture. The attire of the festival that exists today is the representation of the modern carnival format of the festival. Every year, this grand carnival on Barbados entices thousands of visitors from all over the world.
How They Celebrate Crop Over Festival?
Crop Over festival is celebrated by wearing elaborate & colorful costumes, parading through the city on the energetic beats of genuine Calypso & Soca music & emptying the cans of favorite rum which, in totality, compliment the jolly nature of Barbadian crowd!
The celebration gets inaugurated with the ‘Opening Gala’ & traditional rituals of the ‘Last Cane Delivery’ coupled with the felicitation of the most productive male & female cane cutters of the season. The felicitation is done by crowning them as the King & the Queen of the festival!
The festival’s excitement surges with the grandeur show called Cohobblopot whereinthe members of the ‘Kadooment’ bands donning stunning costumes performs on the typical Caribbean Calypso beats in front of cheering crowd. The other popular Calypso bands also participate in this jamboree & rock the atmosphere by thumping their steel drums with lots of energy & grace!
For the entire festival duration, Bridgetown Market becomes the locus of all the actions. It gets flocked by myriad stalls selling food articles, beverages as well as local artifacts. The mouth watering aroma of delicious Bajan cuisine & pulsating beats of Calypso & Soca music occupies the vicinity of the market. Folk concerts, art & craft as well as photographic exhibitions depict the rich & harmonious culture & background of the Barbadian Island.
Calypso is the most iconic feature of the ‘Crop Over’ festival as it conjures the entire Island. The Calypso bands compete with each other for claiming several prizes & accolades that include- ‘Party Monarch’, ‘Sweet Soca Monarch’, ‘Road March Monarch’ & the most precious ‘Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch’! The ‘Party Monarch’ & ‘Sweet Soca Monarch’ attracts the maximum crowd support whereas the grand finale of the ‘Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch’ held at ‘Kensington Oval’ stadium is the most important event of all.
The festival comes into its final chapters with the event called the ‘Grand Kadooment’. The event consists of a glorious parade through the town featuring many Calypso band members demonstrating the different themes. The designers of the colorful & vibrant costumes of the band members tussle for claiming the precious ‘Designer of the Year’ award while the revelers prefer getting soaked into this lively atmosphere. The procession continues to the Spring Garden on the beats of Calypso. The energy of the crowd surges with the outbreak of even better & bigger demonstration of fantastic music as the parade reaches to the farewell. Lots of tasty food articles coupled with countless sips of rum & a quick dip in nearby sea make it sure that the grand party of Crop Over should come to the conclusion in equally grand manner!