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Carnival 2013

Dragons in love and dance

By NEWSDAY REPORTER Saturday, February 9 2013

click on pic to zoom in
BOUND FOR HELL The Bookman records the names of all destined for hell as he and aband of devils pass by on the streets of Port-of-Spain yesterday...
BOUND FOR HELL The Bookman records the names of all destined for hell as he and aband of devils pass by on the streets of Port-of-Spain yesterday...

The annual Dragon Parade Festival drew the attention of many onlookers yesterday, as brightly coloured dragons, Jab Jabs, and blue devils danced in front the office of the Crosstown Carnival Committee, corner of Prince and George Street, Port-of-Spain.

The purpose of the annual festival, was to display Chinese mythology and local folklore with the main attraction being the re-enactment of a fictional love story between two dragons.

The famous Bookman, started off the parade, as he represented the devil recording all the sins of persons.

The big headed devil held a large book and pen to represent the sins he would record, and the names Boysie Singh, Dole Chadee and Mano Benjamin (famous local murderers) were written in his book.

As the Jab Jabs danced in the streets, the crowd backed away in fear of being hit by the mighty whips of the Jab Jabs.

In their colourful outfits, the loud cracking of the whips excited the audience further, as mixed expressions of fear and thrill were seen on the faces of the onlookers.

The excitement grew when the blue devils, and demons danced in the streets, and fascinated the crowd as one blue devil was breathing fire.

However, the main attraction for the parade was the re-enactment of the fictional love story of Zatook, the dragon, who after marrying the queen dragon, Lilith, on Carnival Friday, suffered from tabanca when Lilith left him to play J’ouvert and never returned. The crowd fixed their eyes on Zatook, a bright green dragon, and Lilith, a colourful dragon with a huge pink flower on her back, as the two dragons performed a reunion dance after not seeing each other for many years.

The performance was heightened when a purple dragon, who appeared to be the new mate of Lilith, came to challenge Zatook, and after fighting off the green dragon, reclaimed his mate, Lilith. The structure of the entire festival was organised by the Crosstown Carnival Committee, and according to President of the committee, Michael Prescott, $30,000 was given by National Carnival Commission (NCC) to plan the entire event. The festival attracted a number of foreigners, who described the overall festival as “very unique.” “The performance was very interesting, especially the green dragon because his performance and the way he danced was well done,” said Verina Bravo, a Trinidadian who lives in New Jersey, USA for over 30 years.

Among the onlookers were exchange students, Joao Cardoso from Timor; Leste, and Max Gastineau from France, who both came to study at the University of the West Indies.

“There is something unique about Carnival in Trinidad, and after hearing so many persons talk about it, I am glad that I can finally experience it for myself,” Cardoso said. Gastineau also expressed that he had heard a lot about Carnival, and he was most excited to play J’ouvert.

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