In Trinidad and Tobago, citizens and visitors say farewell to the Merry Monarch or King of Carnival at midnight on Carnival Tuesday marking the end of the Carnival season and the beginning of the Lenten season. Easter, the highlight of the Lenten season, is an important occasion in Christian Churches around the world, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion on the cross.

The Lenten season or Lent as it is widely known begins on the Wednesday after Carnival, known as Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday, the last day of the Holy Week. Many Christians observe Ash Wednesday by attending church services nationwide, where ashes in the shape of a cross are placed on their forehead to symbolize repentance before God. Lent is observed for forty days as a time of fasting and prayer in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, one week before Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates the coming of Jesus to Jerusalem, where people waved palms and laid them on the ground along his path. In Trinidad and Tobago, many churches observe this event by the distribution of palm leaves to followers during Palm Sunday services. On Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified, the Roman Catholic Church in particular retraces the steps of Christ on his journey to crucifixion. This is called the Stations of the Cross. There are church services throughout the rest of weekend, ending with the largest celebrations occurring on Easter Sunday.


In Trinidad and Tobago, Easter is celebrated in many ways amongst the larger community as well. One of the major highlights preceding Easter is the celebration of the Holy Weekend in the village of Siparia in southern Trinidad. Visitors and worshipers from across the nation travel to the La Divina Pastora Roman Catholic Church in Siparia for Holy Thursday and Good Friday Mass and festivities.

To facilitate the town’s popular Holy Thursday Street Market, streets in the town center within the vicinity of the church are blocked from vehicular traffic allowing vendors to sell food, clothing, wares and other artifacts to visitors.

Other villages set up a Good Friday Bobolee, an effigy of Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. It is usually hung and beaten as if being punished for his betrayal. Recently these bobolees have been turned into parodies of events in Trinidadian life such as “the Marriage of Bobolees” in the Maraval community.


Fish is one of the main staple foods consumed during Lent, culminating with the Good Friday traditional meal of ground provisions and fish.

On Good Friday, many locals also carry on the global tradition of having hot cross buns. Hot cross buns are sweet, soft buns that have a cross on the top symbolizing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.


Easter bonnet parades and competitions are popular activities held at schools, shopping malls and other venues throughout the country. Other related activities held at this time are Easter eggs hunts and tea parties.


This popular activity takes place every year on Easter Monday in Buccoo, Tobago. The racing track resembles that of horse racing. The jockeys run behind or next to the goat encouraging them on. They race for prizes, and to crown a champion of the goat racers. There are also crab races, sometimes reserved especially for visitors to the island.


Kite flying is another activity synonymous with Easter in Trinidad and Tobago. Kite flying competitions have been popular amongst the faithful in recent years. Several organisations have an annual competition with giveaways and music all day long where contestants vie for the title of best kite flyer.


Horse racing on Easter Monday is another traditional Easter pastime. Racing began in Trinidad as early as 1838 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, but today the Santa Rosa Park in Arima is home to all Horse Racing tournaments.


Many families and friends make it an Easter weekend ritual to camp out on beaches across Trinidad and Tobago. In Trinidad, some of these popular spots for this long weekend are Macqueripe, Maracas, Las Cuevas and Manzanilla beaches in the north, Mayaro beach in the south east, and Los Iros, Quinam, and Vessigny beaches in the south. In Tobago, popular spots include, Store Bay, Black Rock, Pigeon Point, among others.