Holidays in Trinidad and Tobago
SME 1:"Trinidad gets anywhere in the neighborhood, in a fluctuation from 175,000 to 200,000 people visiting the country in a particular timeframe. All rules go out the window. All laws go out the window. It is a festivity that you must indulge in.
"It starts off with "J'ouvert," which starts on the night before, and you actually march and drink, and party into Carnival. Leading up to Carnival there's always different events, and what makes their country so nice about Carnival is that they have pre, miniature events going on leading up to Carnival, and parades and carnivals and concerts with different local artists that makes it pretty good. So you get a chance to go to different things, and then, pop, you hit Carnival.
"You would be amazed [at] the arts and the creativity, and the colors that these people put together for each [year's] event. [And the] spectacle of watching this come through town [is amazing]. And it goes for hours on top of hours on top of hours. It is amazing. It is the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Just people enjoying themselves, dancing, partying. Mile after mile, nobody complaining. OK, the dance stops, a guy gets something to eat, get back in, they start playing the next one. It's amazing. You just have to go to witness it. It is something."
SME 2: "One of the highlights of my time in Curaçao was Carnival, which matches very much timeline-wise to what we see in Brazil. And the whole island, I think they save up the whole year long for this one event. And it really kind of starts at Christmas, and then it rolls into Carnival. And, there will be these organizations, and they'll have parades. There's no beads, but everybody dresses up in really fancy costumes. And there's well appointed parade floats. And it lasts several days. Every group, organization has a float, and it lasts hours and hours and hours. And they do that day after day after day. It's an amazing week, of festivity and culture.
"Working around Carnival was a major consideration in planning. It just so happened that the parade route blocked off where most of our service members lived. So finding a way to get to work every day became a challenge. And then a log jam of cars and floats and people also added to that. That's a great instance of working with the police to issue us passes so we could move through the parade route [less] hindered. That was a must-do so as to not impact ops."
In this video, an Air Force Reserve chief master sergeant and an Air Force lieutenant colonel elaborate on the Carnival holiday.