The big day. In Barbados, this has nothing to do with rings, love nor marital bliss, but it has everything to do with culture, friends, food, music and all the feel-good island life has to offer. The island’s big day is celebrated on the first Monday each August – Kadooment Day. This annual carnival is the culmination of the Crop Over festival, a 2-month long celebration that is steeped in history, and is rich in culture and national pride.
There is never a dull moment during Barbados’ Crop Over season and for those who enjoy local culture and festivities it is an absolute must for your Summer Bucket List. The allure of the festival has now turned July and August into the most buzzing time of year on the island. Locals and visitors mix effortlessly at the various events. During this season you are bound to enjoy interacting with some of the “friendliest people in the world” and maybe even a dance lesson or two during your stay! Visit an art exhibition with family, savor local delicacies at Bridgetown Market, or take in the sights of the costume parade on the Grand Kadooment day, Crop Over time in Barbados offers an almost infinite option of things to do!
The beauty of our national festival lies in the island’s diverse history, and is a testament of the influence of African culture on our own. Its roots sit firmly in the island’s sugar cane era, where plantations came alive with music, dancing and lively celebrations at the end of the harvest. The revelry of these celebrations recorded centuries ago remains the blueprint of what we know as Crop Over today, and is especially seen on the final day of the festival on Kadooment Day, where a colourful parade of feathers, iridescent gems and a chorus of calypso music and cheerful people fills the air.
During this season, there are several activities and events to explore and enjoy. The official opening of the season is put on by the National Cultural Foundation – authority on culture in Barbados – which then hosts seasonal events island-wide, including open-air concerts called cavalcades; calypso and soca music competitions and visual arts exhibitions; their signature bustling street market called Bridgetown Market; and, in addition to the revelry of Kadooment Day, there is also a nighttime version called Foreday Morning Jam for those revelers looking to party until daybreak – where feathers and gems are replaced by t-shirts, paint and mud! There are also several privately hosted fetes and cruises, which vary from all-inclusive events, breakfast and colour-themed parties to champagne cruises aboard the regular party vessels. Choosing from these numerous events may be overwhelming, but rest assured you are in safe hands with our Concierge Can team of Crop Over experts, who will find the best parties and events for you and your friends to enjoy!
Ready to start planning your Summer Bucket List trip? Our Reservations team can help you select a villa or apartment close to all the action. Or perhaps, as Crop Over fills the air, you prefer to celebrate in a private, quiet retreat away from the bustling celebrations. Rejuvenating nature hikes, visits to farmers’ markets, quiet beaches and tours of historic properties such as St. Nicholas Abbey and Sunbury Plantation may best fit your pace. Whatever you crave this summer our team can help you choose the perfect holiday haven!
For more information on the beauty of summer in Barbados check out our previous blogs below!
Book now to experience why Barbados really does summer getaways the best!