Crop Over

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Crop Over

Last three weeks in July to first Monday in August
This harvest festival in Barbados was originally celebrated in the 1800s by slaves at the end of the sugar-cane harvest. A procession of carts and animals decorated with flowers would bring the last load of cane to the plantation owner, who would then provide a feast for the laborers. One of the carts carried an effigy known as Mr. Harding, made from sugar-cane refuse and dressed in a black coat, top hat, and mask. The effigy represented the cruel gangdrivers and symbolized the hard times that lay ahead for the laborers until the next crop.
Today, Crop Over is a civic celebration, which was revived in 1974. It takes place during the last three weeks of July and usually ends on the first Monday in August. There are historical displays, craft shows, fairs, cane-cutting contests, open-air concerts, calypso music and dancing, and "stick licking"—a self-defense sport similar to fencing. By the last weekend of the festival, the celebration moves to the island's capital, Bridgetown, which is transformed into a huge open-air bazaar where people can shop and listen to live bands.
Monday is the finale, known as the Kadooment —a public holiday—which includes the judging of costumed bands at the National Stadium and a grand calypso procession.
CONTACTS:
Barbados Tourism Authority
800 Second Ave., 2nd Fl.
New York, NY 10017
800-221-9831 or 212-986-6516; fax: 212-573-9850
www.barbados.org
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 521
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 17
References in periodicals archive ?
Kadooment Day - August 3: This celebratory day marks the end of Cropover in Barbados with a festival and parade, complete with bright costumes, music and plenty of rum.
The airline had canceled the route earlier this year but will bring it back for the summer because of expected demand by the Barbadian Diaspora living in New York who travel home for the summer, as well as tourists attending the annual CropOver festival held in August.
Murray could also have provided more detail about the "she-she" bands of Cropover (carnival) and self-identified gay men living with HIV/AIDS, as these are two of the ghosts that haunt the imagined heteronormative Barbadian community, which prides itself on notions of respectability.