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Why We Love Crop Over

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Barbados is the sort of Caribbean island that continually bares its colonial heritage at every turn. Take a look at Bridgetown: its chock full of historic buildings and structures, including the Parliament building – the third oldest parliament in the entire Commonwealth. It’s the perfect embodiment of that prim and proper British vibe that the island’s known for.

Except when Crop Over season starts. Then all bets are off the table.

Crop Over is the single greatest festival celebrated in Barbadian history. A festival that marks the end of the sugar cane harvest with a sea of scantily dressed men and women, soca music blaring from huge speakers on top of trucks and an endless supply of alcohol.

Ask a Bajan what they love about Crop Over and we guarantee you’ll hear one of these reasons.

THE MUSIC
Whether it’s calypso or soca from Trinidad, Grenada or home grown right here in Barbados, you’ll be hearing all the songs to get you moving. Whether you’re stuck in the middle that horrendous morning traffic, or getting on dibby in the fetes – you can’t escape that sweet soca sound. Speaking of fetes…

FETE AFTER FETE AFTER FETE
There are so many fetes leading up to and during the Crop Over season. You might want to give your bank account a break and not attend every single one though. You still have a costume to purchase, remember? There are, however, a select few that deserve a repeat appearance every year and are always worth it.

FOREDAY MORNING JAM
What’s Crop Over without experiencing Foreday Morning? It’s a cooler alternative to Kadooment’s sometimes blazing heat, and it’s not as harsh on the pockets either. But be warned – Foreday isn’t for posing – if you’re going to jump then come prepared to get absolutely filthy. No one is safe when everyone is armed with paint, powder and mud.

Zulu Connect: Why We Love Crop Over

BOUT DEM COSTUMES THOUGH
What more can we say? We love seeing the vivid colours, the feathers, the jewels, the headpieces, the new and fresh designs that leave us with our jaws on the floor. And let’s not talk about the anticipation the bands keep us in before the big launch – barely teasing us with quick behind-the-scenes snaps on social media that leave us wanting more. The entire process – from the moment you see the costumes, deciding which one you’re going to choose, paying that first down payment, to collection and wearing it on the road – it’s all worth it.

CELEBRATING BAJAN CULTURE
First celebrated in the 18th century to mark the end of the sugar cane harvest, the festival was suspended in the 40s in light of World War II. However, the then Barbados Tourism Authority saw its revival in 1974 and the festival and its traditions have continued ever since. Looking back, Crop Over has definitely come a long way from what it used to be. While it may have evolved into a wild costumed event, Crop Over still maintains many of its cultural traditions such as the ceremonial receiving of the last canes, the crowning of the King and Queen of the crop, Bridgetown Market and more. Bajans are proud to call this festival our own, and even though our Caribbean neighbours join us for these festivities, Crop Over is and will always be uniquely Barbadian.

MEGA MONDAY, WE READY!
The countdown’s over. The big day is finally here. You’re up at 4 or 5am getting your face bedazzled or trying to figure out where you put the armbands to your costume. Either way your time to shine has arrived. Putting on your costume, parading across the National Stadium, chipping towards Spring Garden, tiefing a wine or ten (or more), scaling a wall, gorging on premium drinks and good food – this is but a sampling of the shenanigans that will occur on this glorious day.

Zulu Connect: Why We Love Crop Over

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE…
It’s the biggest party of the year and you and your friends will be OUT. TUH. ALL. Whether it’s at cooler fetes, Foreday Morning or Kadooment, these are the moments that will create memories for a lifetime. Unless you’re too drunk to remember anything. Not to worry though, every group always has that one friend that will be ready to show you all photographic and video evidence of your debauchery.

CHECK YOUR INHIBITIONS AT THE DOOR
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, where you work or how much money you make – Crop Over is for everyone. It’s that one time where you can check your inhibitions at the door and really let loose on the streets and enjoy yourself.

Of all the songs to choose from to end this post with, we’ll leave you with Imani’s Fire Meh, because at some point we’re pretty sure you wanted to tell this to your boss. THAT is much we love Crop Over.