Carnival refers to various celebrations/festivals around the world, (but for Fete Finder we’re referring to carnivals  in the Caribbean). A number of carnivals around the world take place right before the commemoration of Lent. Most (Caribbean) carnivals celebrate the historical and cultural past and traditions of the country and include music and dancing. When it comes to Caribbean carnivals, Trinidad is often considered the “Mother of Carnival”.

Fete: pronounced (Feht)
A fête, or fete is a party. It can be used as a verb (I’m going to fete tonight/I’m going to party tonight) or as a noun (My friends are going to have a huge fete tonight at the beach).

Jab Jab:
A person dressed up as a devil-like character during Caribbean carnival (best known during Spicemas (Grenada) but also in Trinidad and other countries). The word jab has its roots in the French word “Diable,” meaning “devil. So jab jab mean “devil, devil or double devil”. The historical reference for jab points to the term French slave owners in the Caribbean called slaves. The cultural reference of the Jab Jab during carnival has the devil threatening to abuse someone with a whip or chains and forcing them into providing something to the jab or performing some type of action for the jab (dancing with them, giving them money).

J’Ouvert/jouvay: pronounced (joo-vay)
J’Ouvert or jouvert is a street party held prior to dawn or daybreak. Many Caribbean islands as well as other cities and countries celebrating carnival and Caribbean culture include jouvert in their festivities. Jouvert translated from the Creole French word jou ouve’ means break of day/daybreak. Jouvert is considered as “dirty mas” where participants “wear” costumes of oil, mud, clay, body paint and even chocolate. Origins of jouvert are attributed to Trinidad and Tobago’s emancipation from slavery in 1838 and is still a part of their carnival traditions. In Trinidad j’ouvert kicks off the two official days of Carnival. Other islands celebrate jouvert during carnival and some prior to their country’s Emancipation Day.

Mas/Playing Mas:
Mas is a shortened form of the word masquerade. In reference to Caribbean carnivals mas refers to the costumes worn by  participants during carnival parades; these participants who are known as masqueraders dress up in costumes, masks and other disguises and dance or perform (play a mas) in masquerade bands (mas bands) during the parade.

Mas Band:
Mas bands are organizations that design and create costumes for masqueraders (see definition above) to participate in the carnival parade. Participants pay to wear these costumes and take part in the parade.

Groovy Soca:
Groovy soca was termed in 2005 by the International Soca Monarch competition organizers to refer to the slower tempo soca styles that had been popular in Trinidad and Tobago since the inception of soca music in the 1970s. Popular groovy soca artists include Kes the Band, Voice, and Teddyson John among others.

Power Soca:
The term power soca received it label 2005 by the International Soca Monarch competition organizers to refer to the uptempo jump & wave soca style that took hold in Trinidad and Tobago during the early 1990s. Well-known artists with popular power soca songs include Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Mr. Killa, Skinny Fabulous, Lyrikal, among many others.

Road March:
The song that is played the most by DJs as mas bands cross various carnival judging points.

A musical genre created in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1970’s by Trinidad music icon Lord Shorty in an effort to bridge the sounds of the country’s East Indian and African populations and revive younger Trinidadians interest in calypso. Lord Shorty created a fusion of calypso with East Indian music and referred to this new sound as the “soul of calypso” or sokah. Over the years soca has developed numerous variations to its tone, with varying countries and regions creating a different sound by incorporating different forms of instrumentation.

Wine or Whine: a dance style where dancers move their waist and/or hips in a “winding” (winding around either clockwise or counter-clockwise) motion.

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