This year’s theme for Rotterdam Carnival events is “The Revelation of Angels and Jab Jab”. The theme is based on the Chinese Philosophy of Yin and Yang and is inspired by a combination of the modern day Caribbean carnival aspects as well as the more traditional Jab Molassie culture better known in Grenada as Jab Jab.
The principle of Yin and Yang is that all things exist as contradictory yet inseparable opposites, for example, female-male, dark-light and old-young. The idea behind this year’s theme is to inspire people to look at the “GOOD” aspects of life more critical whilst being more open and understanding to all the “BAD” aspect of life. The most important part of the Yin and Yang symbol is the swirling effect between the two energy fields. It represents the illusion of duality (separation), once we accept both opposites as a whole will find peace and balance in life.
In Caribbean carnival Jab Jab is sometimes linked to be wrong or scary. This is due to the different materials used during the parades. In more traditional carnival, masqueraders used to use ropes, horns, chains, whips and oil or molasses to pretentiously frighten spectators. This was done by the masqueraders as a commemoration of the ending of slavery and a celebration of their freedom.
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