Until today, Carnival 2019 was not official. Now it is.
President Paula Mae Weekes, under the Public Holidays and Festivals Act, Chapter 19:05, under section 5, has declared that Carnival, 2019 shall commence at 4 am on Monday March 4th, 2019 and shall cease at midnight on Tuesday March 5th, 2019.
This Order is cited as the Public Festivals (Carnival) Order, 2019.
So why is this important? Well, there are certain things that take place at Carnival time that will breach the law, unless a public festivals declaration has been made.
For instance, the law states that any person who appears in public masked or otherwise disguised except during a public festival is liable to a fine of $1,000 and to imprisonment for six months.
The period of time declared by the president is the time-period that usually covers the start of J'ouvert on Carnival Monday to the end of the Parade of the Bands on Carnival Tuesday.
And while Carnival Monday and Tuesday are public festival days, they are not public holidays and are not listed in the schedule of holidays under the act.
So you might want to start singing from now, Kitchener's 'No Wuk for Carnival' and hope that your boss obliges.
- Photo by Shirley Bahadur.