As we write this blog, the chorus of a sweet Barbadian calypso “Survive the Weekend” by Damian Marvay pops into our heads. Though the artist only sings about his friends challenging him to survive the hectic Crop Over (Kadooment) weekend of 12 parties within 3 days, we will delve deeper into survival tactics. Before we start though let’s step back a bit to give you a brief history lesson on Crop Over.
Crop Over (formerly called “Harvest Home”) is a traditional harvest festival, having had its early beginnings on the sugar cane plantations during the colonial period. The Crop Over tradition began in 1688, and featured singing, dancing and accompaniment by bottles filled with water, shak-shaks, banjoes, triangles, fiddles and guitars. Originally a celebration signaling the end of the yearly sugar cane harvest, it has since evolved into Barbados’ biggest national festival similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad. However, with the harsh effects of World War II on Barbados, the festival was disbanded. It was later revived in 1974 and beginning in June, Crop Over runs until the first Monday in August when it culminates in the finale, Kadooment Day. On Kadooment Day, thousands of costumed revelers hit the street parade for hours starting at the National Stadium and ending on Spring Garden Highway.
School’s out! Back to the survival tips folks. The speed at which the Crop Over weekend is approaching resembles that of motor racing at Bushy Park Racing Circuit – FAST! So you have your party tickets right? Great, let’s go then!
- Get in some gym action and yoga classes at the resort to loosen those hips.
- Don’t skip meals – eat! Try local foods like flying fish, rice and peas, macaroni pie, fish cakes, and pudding and souse.
- Take your vitamins or drink fresh fruit juices every day.
- Comfortable shoes are a must because we party for hours. Be cute & trendy but practical, so sandals and Toms are good options.
- Please charge your mobile phones! You can’t take endless selfies with a ½ charged battery.
- Sun block is your best friend. The sun isn’t cool in Barbados, only Bajans are.
- Get directions to party venues before you leave Sugar Bay Barbados. You can’t lose valuable wukkup time getting lost. By the way, “wukkup” is gyrations of the hips.
- Designate a driver or use an authorized taxi driver from the resort.
- Take your friends with you! It’s no fun partying alone.
- Stay hydrated in the party, so drink plenty water or even coconut water.
- Pace yourself in between all the fetes, drinking, “wukkin’ up” and driving. If you feel tired in a party, grab the nearest seat and rest for a few minutes.
- Sleep after each party. Sleep is important. Plus you want to look good in those Instagram & Facebook snaps!
- Submerge yourself in our Bajan culture. Let your hair down & have a ball!
- Post photos of you and your friends in the party – make your other friends jealous they aren’t at Sugar Bay. What’s the point of having fun if you can’t make them jealous right?
- Book a massage at Karma Spa to help ease those sore muscles. It will give you more energy to keep you going.
Once you’ve mastered these tips, you’re on your way to “Surviving Kadooment Weekend” just like Marvay. Click here to give it a listen. It’ll get you in the Crop Over mood.