A Carnival Tabanca

Arts & Culture

Tabanca: an extreme sadness and/or depression following one's breakup from one's love.

Sudden! That’s the feeling that hits you when the last music truck switches off at midnight on Carnival Tuesday in Port of Spain. Silent streets and weary feet signal the end of yet another year of the Caribbean’s most storied of festivals. Trinidad and Tobago the Carnival mecca once again returns to the everyday business of it’s thriving energy-based economy.

There is no way of preparing for the conclusion of the Greatest Show on Earth. The euphoric escape from the mundane is over, at least for another year. So if you find yourself pouring over photos of the season gone, day dreaming of your costumed jaunt on the road or, repeating your favourite soca songs on your iPod, you my friend are suffering from a serious case of CARNIVAL TABANCA.


Luckily we at My Guide Trinidad and Tobago can help you through the pain with our tried and tested Seven Step Carnival Tabanca Recovery Program. This is guaranteed to slow if not remedy the emotional decay that comes with this dreaded phenomenon. At least until your much anticipated return to next year’s celebrations.

Tassa group courtesy Rendel Gonzales


The first step of healing is admitting there is a problem. And so we begin our therapy session today by reliving the experience and recognising what was good about it.


Acknowledge that there is a void. Whenever you feel your emotions getting the better of you pause, take 30 seconds and remind yourself: it’s ok to feel this kind of withdrawal. After all T&T Carnival offers the most addictive of highs; freedom from all inhibitions.




Now that you have accepted your predicament you can move on to determining the extent of your Tabanca. When you think of Carnival do your lips mischievously curl as your subconscious conjures colourful imagery of unadulterated revelry? Or do you suddenly become massively depressed, black out and come to rocking back and forth in a foetal position under your desk?


If you answered yes to the former you’re in luck. You have a very mild case of Carnival Tabanca, nothing a cold beer and night out on the town won’t fix. However, if you find yourself leaning more to the latter diagnosis you may be in a spot of bother. Either way the improvement of both cases will rely heavily on the next step.


Beautiful masquerader courtesy Rendel Gonzales


It seems obvious, but the best way to get past any heartache is to be surrounded by people who have been there and conquered the affliction.


Their Carnival survival stories not only provide a welcome escape from the melancholy you may be feeling, but also shine the light of hope at the end of your dark tunnel. Yes my friend, go to the light!




Talk to anyone who would listen to how you feel. Mom, Dad, siblings, spouse, children, a stranger on the bus, your boss… Ok, ok maybe not your boss who you most likely told you were taking vacation early in the year for an “important family emergency.” But you get the picture. 


Talking it out loud is very therapeutic. You can feel the anxiety leave your body with each fallen word and best of all you get to relive the memory of your Carnival experience over and over again in a healthy way.

Young Moko Jumbies courtesy Rendel Gonzales


Now that you’ve gotten this far it may be a good idea to move things around. Start with your furniture, make a change and end with your schedule. Mix it all up. This helps you feel like a new person. In many ways you are, you have moved from that sad pathetic sap to a happier being. Embrace the new you!




Congratulations you’re on the final leg of your Carnival Tabanca recovery and that in itself is cause for celebration. Go ahead, pamper yourself. Plan a spa day or a round of golf. Remind yourself that your life does have meaning outside of the Carnival season.


If you’ve adhered to all the steps you have done really well and are deserving of the ultimate reward. Start booking those tickets and accommodation to next year’s Carnival.



A Carnival Tabanca