Crop Over is Barbados’ most colourful and popular festival. With origins dating back to the 1790’s, it is considered a summer festival during which the richest and most creative and fun aspects of Barbadian culture are on full display. Besides the gorgeously bedazzled costumes, pulsating rhythms and bountiful eats, here are 3 things you should know about Crop Over.
1. It’s Steeped in Tradition
Crop Over is considered to be the oldest festival in the Western Hemisphere. One of the earliest documented instances of Crop Over celebrations was recorded in 1798 when it represented a celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar season. As the sugar industry declined, so did the Crop Over festival and in the 1940’s the festival ceased. However, its value was undeniable and in 1974 Crop Over was revived.
2. It’s not Carnival…
While colourful costumes are on display during Kadooment Day, it is important to know that despite apparent similarities between Crop Over and celebrations across the Caribbean and Latin America, Crop Over is not a carnival. You’ll be forgiven for making the faux pas once or twice but it is unacceptable to refer to Crop Over as a carnival – it is the Crop Over Festival. Similar celebrations namely in Brazil and Trinidad – are referred to as carnivals but do not share the same origin as Barbados’ festival, and only appear to be the same to the untrained eye.
3. The Party Never Stops
Crop Over culminates with the most stunning spectacle on Kadooment Day, the costumed parade however, the festival offers a myriad of events at varying times of the day and across all different types of geography. Make a trek at midnight to a quarry in St. George for fun in paint and powder or get dressed up for a fun evening at a gorgeous plantation house for an all-inclusive party complete with sushi, decadent desserts and lovely chef prepared meals. Opt to celebrate Crop Over on the water with a 4 a.m. catamaran breakfast party cruise or a nighttime sail and head down to the beautiful Farley Hill National Park or the beautiful beachfront at Brandon’s Beach for musical treats.
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