Playin' Mas, Play and Mas | A Pedagogical Journey of Children in Caribana

A Brief Overview of Caribana

About Caribana

Caribana is a celebration of Caribbean culture heavily based on pre-Lenten Carnival traditions in Trinidad and Tobago. It takes place on Simcoe Day which is the first weekend in August, marking the abolition of slavery in Upper Canada. The first Caribana festival began in 1967 as part of an effort to celebrate Caribbean culture in the city of Toronto. Ten individuals formed the Caribbean Centennial Committee (CCC) and organized a festival as a gift to Canada for its Centennial year. In addition to the grand parade, the festival includes various events: calypso "tents"(shows), “jump-ups” (dances), “fetes” (parties), “mas” (masquerade) competitions, a junior carnival (kiddies), “pan blockos” or “blockorama” (steel band street parties), and “talk tents” (shows featuring storytellers, comedians and others well versed in oral traditions).  The Toronto Caribbean Carnival, more commonly known as "Caribana", is the largest festival of Caribbean Culture in North America. What began as a three-day celebration has grown into a three week long festival that attracts over two million people to the city.


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