Seems that it was just yesterday we were attending Carnival all-inclusive fetes, singing the refrain of Like ah Boss and revelling in the street. Ash Wednesday is but a memory, the final day of Lent is here and it is the long Easter weekend holiday once more.
Easter is ushered in with the "40-day, 40-nights" Lenten period for Christians where traditionally, many discipline themselves to eating fish and seafood while abstaining from drinking liquor and alcoholic beverages, smoking and having any carnal activity.
The actual Easter weekend itself, culminates with Holy Week that tail-ends with Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Glorias Saturday and the holiday Easter Monday.
In days gone by it was deemed taboo to sing, even whistle at home, a calypso during Lent. Calypso was not played on the airwaves as the music was deemed to be "satanic." The calypso "ban" however was rested on St Joseph Day and completely lifted on Glorias Saturday, when the playing of calypso resumed. No one knows when the blackmark against calypso during Lent was relaxed and subsequently removed?
Perhaps the most significant day of the year on the Christian calendar, today (Good Friday) is steeped in tradition and myth. The morning traditionally opens with a sumptuous breakfast in which hot crossed buns are the requisite item. Breakfast is normally followed by attending the three-hour Station of the Cross church service.
Late lunch, with fish as the main ingredient, usually was embellished by white-coloured food, usually white provision, white peas (gub gub or lima beans), and, white wine.
A major myth of Good Friday was that if you should bathe in the sea before 6 pm today you would turn into a fish. No one has ever witnessed this but many adhered to the myth and stayed away from beaches on Good Friday.
Another myth of yore dealt with egg white and a glass of water. When placed in the sun if the egg white changed into a church steeple, you were blessed and would have prosperity.
Good Friday tradition also included the beating of the bobolee, a stuffed effigy made in memory of Judas Iscariot, the villain in the betrayal of Christ. Through the years, bobolees have evolved, from being reincarnations of Judas to effigies of public figures the public is aggrieved with, to celebrities who are wed, complete with ceremony and procession, like the annual bobolee festival in Maraval. This being an election year one expect there will be several political figures portrayed. The remainder of the weekend is usually occupied with family outings, mainly to the beach or to wide open spaces, like Port-of-Spain's Queen's Park Savannah, to fly kites of every design and variety, from little chee-kee-chongs to huge, elaborate mad bulls.
One expects beaches nationwide to be chock-a-block with seabathers and sun-seekers on Monday. However, a popular and traditional Easter Monday pastime is horse racing and the second of the year's triple-crown races�Easter Guineas�will be held at the Arima racing facility. This is a gala affair and attendees dress to the hilt in sartorial fashion splendour.
Whatever you choose to do Pulse wishes you a safe and enjoyable Easter holiday weekend.
This year's Tobago Jazz Experience begins on April 19, but Randy Glasgow Promotions is staging a big curtain-raiser one week before, April 11, in Buccoo. Billed as Bacchanal in D Jazz, the concert will feature former National Calypso Monarchs Cro Cro and Pink Panther, past Extempore Monarch Brian London, Mr Shak, Skatie, comedian Tommy Joseph and more.
But, it is Good Friday and today ushers in a long weekend of fun and entertainment. Perseverance Sports and Action Community Council hosts its annual Good Friday Sports & Family Day at the Hugo Francis Recreation Ground, Woodford Lodge, Chaguanas. The action commences with a 5K race at 7 am and continues from 3 pm with athletics, novelty events and an Easter Bonnet Competition.
Good Friday fun continues at 1 pm when Causin Rabb holds its annual Good Friday cricket street tournament, on Thomasine Street, Success Village, Laventille.
At the same, Tuco will begin its annual Good Friday fete match, at The Paddock, Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
Jazz is also in the mix as the Women in Jazz series of shows begins tomorrow at Fiesta Plaza, MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain. Beginning at 8.30 pm the star of the night will be Krystal Khanye.
Many parties are planned this weekend and one of the biggest will be the annual Yorke Inc Glorious Saturday Party, also to be held tomorrow, at Pier 1, Chaguaramas. Music will be by DJs Howie T, Mr Q, Richard Simply Smooth and Sensational Sammy.
On Sunday afternoon, at 2 pm, DC Shell Theatre continues its run of Sinbad at Queen's Hall, St Ann's. A second show will be staged that evening at 6.30 pm.
ComPANion will hold its Steelbands Sports and Family Day cricket preliminaries on Sunday, at 2 pm, at Republic Bank Exodus Pan Amphitheatre, EMR, St Augustine.
That evening, from 4 pm, Belmont Cultural Improvement Committee will hold its annual easter Bonnet Parade 2015, at Belmont Community Centre on Jerningham Avenue.
Weather permitting, outdoor activity ought be extremely enjoyable for all this Easter weekend.
Professor stars in Baltimore
Popular Trinidadian steelband arranger/composer/musician Ken "Professor" Philmore was the star of The Baltimore Sun newspapers last month when coached students of Catonsville High School in playing the national instrument. Philmore was invited to do the workshop by the steelband's musical director Jim Wharton who annually invites a professional musician to come and teach members of the school steelband.
Philmore worked with the students for one week, his course culminating on March 27. Beaming with pride and a sense of accomplishment, Wharton likened Philmore's visit to the school's football team acquiring the services of acclaimed football coach Joe Flacco. During his visit Philmore taught the young pan musicians, ranging from freshmen to seniors, how to play the instrument without reading a music score. In a published feature in The Sun, Wharton said: "He (Philmore) is absolutely a virtuoso performer and a star arranger ... it's really an honor to have him here."
Also interviewed, Philmore told The Sun: "I know music just naturally, kind of like the wind does. I have ears as big as an elephant's. I can't read or write music, but I feel music. For me, it's a very spiritual thing."
The Sun reported that Philmore's goal is for more children to learn to play 'steel drum' and for more people worldwide to respect it like traditional drums, guitar or piano."
He added: "I love teaching kids, because I like to see the joy in their faces. It's easier to work with kids than with big people ...with kids, it's just a joy. It's fun."