Barbadian culture is a rich amalgamation of African and European influences, derived from a history of British rule and the African slave trade. This diversity and richness created by the infusion of these cultural influences pervade every facet Barbadian life. From the food, art, craft, literary works, music and architecture to the way we live, work, and play. The African influence is clearly evident in games like Warri and Stick Fighting and in national dishes like Cou Cou and Conkies.
‘Bajans’, as Barbadians are locally called, are a quick-witted, fun-loving people and their gift for the double entendre or turn of phrase is most visible through their literature and music. The island’s creative community is a vibrant one where a strong contingent of musicians, dancers, artists, designers and craftspeople create high quality work. Pop icon and multiple Grammy Award winner Rihanna was discovered in here in her home country and is a true daughter of the soil.
Barbados features a year-round calendar of festivals and events, including arts and entertainment, and conferences and tradeshows. Each event encourages participation among travellers and locals alike. Unique to Barbados, these events provide a special opportunity for the visitor to take part in activities that reveal the true nature of our island.
Throughout November, Bajans of all ages match their talents in the fields of music, performing and visual arts, as well as poetry and writing at the National Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA). November 30 marks our Independence Day with final exhibitions and performances. Click here for more information about NIFCA.
The largest and most important festival in Barbados however is Crop Over, which celebrates the end of the sugarcane harvest. This summer festival is celebrated over several weeks and includes fairs, fetes, parades and contests. Crop Over culminates on Kadooment Day. This day features an explosion of colours, food and masqueraders dancing rhythmically to the pulsating beats of Calypso along the streets towards Brandons Beach on the Spring Garden Highway.
This year will be the biggest summer for Caribbean culture, starting with Crop Over, the sweetest Summer Festival immediately followed by CARIFESTA.
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Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth
Sky Mall Complex
Tel: +1-246-621-2700 Ext 721
Cultural Industries Development Authority
The National Cultural Foundation
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Government Information Service
Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation
Caribbean Media Corporation
Barbados Hotel &Tourism Association
Book Barbados Now
Intimate Hotels of Barbados
Barbados Museum & Historical Society