Barbados Crop Over 2013

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Barbados Crop Over often referred to by locals as “Kadooment” is Barbados’ biggest national festival. It began in 1688 on the sugar cane plantations signalling the end of the yearly sugar cane harvest. The festival was disbanded after the harsh effects of World War II on Barbados in the late 20th century. Barbados Crop Over was revived in 1974 by local stakeholders and the Barbados Tourism Board. Crop Over begins in June and ends with Grand Kadooment on the first Monday in August. During this period Barbadians are certainly in a festive mood, attending numerous “fete’s” and calypso competitions.

 Photography by Notna

Calypso music forms an integral part of this celebration. There are several calypso tents each with their cadre of calypsonians who give very entertaining performances to vast crowds of adoring fans. The lyrics from most calypso’s are often derived from the “local happenings” throughout the year and others are fraught with mischievous undertones, perfect for “wukin up”.

Crop Over

Calypsonians compete for the Calypso Monarch award and there are also competitions for People’s Monarch and the favourite, Party Monarch. During the celebrations there is also Soca on the Hill which is held at Farley Hill and our personal favourite Pan Pun the Sand which is staged at Brandons Beach, Spring Garden Highway.

 Photography by Notna

The last weekend of the festival reaches a fevered pitch with several events including Jouvet morning, Bridgetown market, Pic-o-de-Crop finals, Cohobblopot and to end it all Grand Kadooment. In recent times Jouvet morning has grown to be as highly anticipated and exciting as Grand Kadooment. There are several t-shirt bands rolling through the streets to the best calypso in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Photography by geminiexplorer2

Bridgetown market is held on the Spring Garden Highway where you can find numerous stalls selling local art, crafts, and jewellery. You can also sample a variety of local cuisine. Many locals flock to Bridgetown market with coolers in hand and spend the day “liming” on the street or partying.

The Pic-o-de-Crop finals is the crowning of the King/Queen of calypso and likewise Cohobblopot is the crowning of the King and Queen of the costume bands.

 Photography by Notna

Finally, Grand Kadooment arrives and it is a spectacle of colour, costumes and dancing as the bands parade in front of the National Stadium and all through the streets as they make their way to the Spring Garden Highway. The bands follow large trucks which are decked out with speakers and some with performer’s blaring music so loud you can feel it in your soul.

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