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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jouvert 101

1. Most people prefer all-inclusive bands for jouvert as they are provided with t shirt/costume, breakfast, drinks and mud or paint making it less cash to walk with on the road as well as bands provide security and the popular ones avoid downtown Port of Spain. It is also best to play jouvert with a group, safety in numbers.

2. Whether jumping with a band that provides you with clothing or just jumping up as a non paying reveler always wear disposable clothing for Jouvert. That is from t shirt to underwear ensure that it is something you will not mind getting dirty and throwing away afterward. As for shoes, make sure they are comfortable but not new, this will be the best time to wear your worn in gym sneakers that you do not mind getting paint all over.

3. Oil your skin with baby oil to prevent paint, mud, chocolate and (God forbid) black oil seeping into your pores! This process also makes it easier to wash off paint, mud and oil after the day is done. My friend, however, believes that if you don't use baby oil your photos come out better!

4. For the ladies you may want to invest in a head scarf, hat or shower cap to keep your hair free of paint, mud paint, chocolate or oil.

5. If you plan on playing Monday mas after jouvert it may be wise to get some rest the night before as jouvert starts around 4am and you will be chipping through the streets until long after the sun comes up, with Monday mas starting at 10:00am. Those with stamina can go straight from a fete to jouvert to Monday mas!

6. Leave all your valuables at home, including the expensive digital camera that may get dirty and jewelry. Disposable cameras are best for jouvert.

7. Stay hydrated, eat breakfast and pace yourself when drinking.

8. Be respectful of other people’s property; please do not smear paint/mud on cars, leave coloured handprints on nicely painted post-Christmas walls or dab anyone with paint/mud without their consent.

9. Make sure you organize a ride home after jouvert, remember most likely you will be “dirty” as getting dirty is all part of the fun of jouvert and public transportation like taxis and maxi taxis are averse to picking up muddy strangers! Prepare your vehicle with garbage bags on the seats and newspaper on the floor to prevent staining the interior.

10. The best way to get clean after jouvert is to get hosed down in your yard, providing you are staying at a house. At hotels consult with the reception/front desk staff BEFORE leaving for jouvert on their policy of jouvert revelers traipsing through the hotel; I can just imagine muddied guests taking the elevator up to their room at the Hyatt! Some hotels will make you shower outside before going to your room.
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