Festivals in Barbados

The Caribbean Island of Barbados is quickly becoming a hub for many tourists. In previous years sugar cane was our main source of income; however, it has been quickly overtaken by Tourism. Due to this rise in Tourism, the government had to put several activities in place to attract and keep their most welcomed guests well entertained also with the view of ensuring their return to our shore. Hence, the annual tourism calendar for the island, the government has made provision for seven major festivals billed by many persons as, "The Magnificent Seven."
These festivals are rich in history and they provide lots of entertainment for our numerous visitors and natives alike. The festivals are namely, the Crop Over festival, Holetown festival, Oistins fish festival, Gospelfest, National Independence festival of Creative Arts, the Congaline Carnival and the Barbados Jazz Festival.
The Crop Over festival, the oldest of the festivals is the highlight of the summer. It is an "all-island jubilation running from mid-July to early August" (Pariser 77) Crop Over originated in the days of the plantation society. During this festival, there is the collision of British and African cultures. The Original event was know as the "English Harvest Home Festivities or Harvest Time," signaling the end of the sugar cane harvest. The festival was a combination of a traditional harvest festival and West-African style yam celebrations (78).
During this time, the slaves and their masters both had reasons to celebrate the end of the crop. For the planter, this signaled that the last of the crop for the year was ready for shipping to the merchant in England, who in return rewarded the planter with the luxuries of life. For the slave it was the end of the longest and most exhausting part of the year. Thus, the completion of the harvest season brought singing, dancing and general merriment. After the emancipation of the slaves, the fes…

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