What’s Up Swatch Queens,

With Labor Day  approaching us quickly, I thought it was befitting to post about Carnival. As an Island Gal growing up I was use to attending parades, dances, festivals lit with an array of tropical colors, and natives wearing costumes, face masks, long tier skirts, bouncy blouses, hair adorned with jewels. Men, women and children dancing in formation in unison as they make their way down the streets as the sounds of percussion instruments fill the air. Although it’s been years since my last Labor Day Parade down Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, I do hold the imagery of the grand celebrations and the rhythm of the music.

Now older I feel the need to research how carnival came about and how is it that so many Caribbean Islands have their own interpretation of this celebration.

The word Carnival is thought to mean ” farewell to meat ” or ” farewell to flesh “. Historians believe the first Carnival originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 18th century, with the French bringing their Masquerade tradition with them. From there this spread to many other islands, where traditions where fused together with local cultures. Salsa in Antigua, Calypso was used in Dominica and Samba was introduced to thec Brazilians during the days of slavery by the Africans. 

Carnival in Trinidad


In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, these celebrations where held days before Lent but moved to the summer. In my island beautiful Borinquen our Carnival de Ponce last one week and it ends on the day before Ash Wednesday, it is one of the oldest celebrations dating back to 1858 with estimations of 100,000 people in attendance. 

Wow to know that my ancestors probably helped mold this cultural event that has been passed down for generations makes me even prouder to be Boriqua!!! Mi Gente

Flyer of the Carnival in Puerto Rico Circa 1983

I want to highlight a family owned business that shares the love of Carnival. These ladies are killing it with their designs and passion to deliver an experience attainable to everyone. This year’s theme is Royal Flush the luxury you find in the classic depiction of a casino. The rich berries and mauvey hues, the feathers and rhinestone encrusted headgear that sparkles like the diamond this company embodies. 

Check this site out you will definitely reap what they sew. 


Designers: Alicia Thompson and August Lewis

Assistants: Destiny Lewis and Anthonya Major

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” Be Free To Xpress Yourself ” their company motto.

You can follow Alicia Thompson IG @bright_eyes_nyc

You can follow August Lewis IG @_nu.bian

All photos of Raw Xpression Creations was uploaded with designer’s consent. Other imagery of Carnivals where taken from Pinterest.

Until the next one…




One thought on “Origins of Carnival

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