Trinidad’s Carnival is all about participation: rather than watching from the sidelines as in Rio – whether young or old, big or small, anyone with a willingness to “wine their waist” and “get on bad” is welcome to sign up with a masquerade band, which gets you a costume and the chance to dance through the streets alongside tens of thousands of fellow revellers. Preceded by weeks of all-night outdoor fetes, as parties here are known, as well as competitions for the best steel bands and calypso and soca singers, the main event starts at 4am on Carnival Sunday with Jouvert (pronounced “jou-vay”). This anarchic and raunchy street party is pure, unadulterated bacchanalia, with generous coatings of mud, chocolate, oil or body paint – and libations of local rum, of course – helping you lose all inhibitions and slip and slide through the streets until morning in an anonymous mass of dirty, drunken, happy humanity, chipping along to steel bands, sound-system trucks or the traditional “rhythm section” percussionists. Once the sun is fully up, and a sluice down with a hose has dispensed with the worst of the mud, the masquerade bands hit the streets, their costumed followers dancing along in the wake of the pounding soca. Monday is a mere warm-up for the main parade the following day, however, when full costumes are worn and the streets are awash with colour. The music trucks are back in earnest and the city reverberates with music, becoming one giant street party, until “las lap” and total exhaustion closes proceedings for another year.