Soulfest Week: Pandemonium—A J'ouvert Celebration
April 15, 2018
2:30 pm-6:00 pm
Stop by the 2nd annual Jouvert Pandemonium with free admission, food, and march! This event is presented by Black Mass Communication Project and Students of Caribbean Ancestry.
J'ouvert is a large street party held during Carnival throughout many Caribbean cultures, and subsequently in areas where Caribbean peoples have immigrated. In some of the French-based creole languages of the Caribbean, j'ouvert means "dawn" or "daybreak". It is a contraction of the French words jour ("day") and ouvert ("open").
J'ouvert is celebrated in many countries throughout the Caribbean. Traditionally, the celebration involves calypso/soca bands and their followers dancing through the streets. The festival starts well before dawn and peaks a few hours after sunrise.
Carnival was introduced to Trinidad by French settlers in 1783, a time of slavery. Banned from the masquerade balls of the French, the slaves would stage their own mini-carnivals in their backyards — using their own rituals and folklore, but also imitating and sometimes mocking their masters’ behavior at the masquerade balls.
The origins of street parties associated with J'ouvert coincide with the emancipation from slavery in 1838. Emancipation provided Africans with the opportunity, to not only participate in Carnival, but to embrace it as an expression of their newfound freedom. The traditions of J'ouvert vary widely throughout the Caribbean.” Soulfest weekend, has been an ongoing tradition for the black community of UMass.
Last year, S.o.C.A became a part of this tradition with the induction of J’ouvert to Western MA. This year, the group hopes the event to have twice the turnout and even more success while bringing fun and Caribbean culture to UMass community!