Carnival costume

In Attire

In Trinidad, every February before Lent, the annual Carnival would take place. Women, men and children would dress up in these extravagant costumes that boasted beautiful, vibrant colors and large feathers. Along the streets of Port of Spain, Trinidad, festive music would be playing, the aroma of wonderful food would fill the air, and an atmosphere of love and happiness would surround everyone. In Brooklyn, my family was able to continue their tradition of this celebration, by participating in New York’s version, the West Indian Day Labor Day Parade. The apartment building that we lived in was located right at the start of the parade and just by looking outside the window we were able to see all the bands and masqueraders in their costumes, the vendors selling West Indian food and desserts and the kids playing and enjoying the excitement. My great aunt, who was too old to stand up outside for too long would sit by the window and reminisce, “I remember back in Trinidad, my mother would dress all of us and take us to watch the parade. If you saw how beautiful those costumes were and how much fun everyone was having, boy, it was like a big party right there in the street.” When I was about 6 years old, my mom, aunts and I were standing outside of our apartment window on the fire escape in our costumes to see when our band, and people that had on the same costume as us, were passing in front the building. When we spotted them we would go downstairs and join in the parade.

Year: 2008

– Nakia

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