J’Ouvert is a French Caribbean Carnival daybreak party.
In French “Jour ouvert” literally means “day open” or daybreak. In French we often push two words together so you get J’ouvert. In the Caribbean we also drop syllables so the blending of words is natural.
Brooklyn J’Ouvert Parade 2019
The party attracts over a million people. Brooklyn’s Caribbean community parties all night before the J’Ouvert Parade, but if this is new to you, it’s better to just attend the Parade.
The NYPD is out in force to keep everybody safe. Let’s help them do that.
J’Ouvert Parade Date
The J’Ouvert Parade is Monday, September 2, 2019 at 6am.
J’Ouvert Parade Route
- Forms at Grand Army Plaza
- Marches down Flatbush Ave
- East on Empire Blvd
- South on Nostrand Ave
- Ends at Midwood St
Participants smear colored powder, paint, mud or oil on their bodies and each other. They basically have a good time all night long until the sun comes up on Carnival day.
The J’Ouvert tradition began with the large French Caribbean migration to Spanish Trinidad after 1783. The French brought their Carnival masquerade balls. Slaves made their own parties in the street.
When emancipation reached British Trinidad on August 1, 1838, these street parties became more elaborate celebrations.
Distinct Carnival characters evolved in J’Ouvert. Jab Jabs are devil characters who are supposed to frighten. In Brooklyn, they are just for fun. In Trinidad, the character absorbed East Indian folkloric traditions.