The constant breeze of the trade winds gives Barbados a mild and pleasant tropical climate, with average temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees. The tropical climate is reflected in the music like the Calypso, Soca, R&B or Reggae. Their rhythms are the soul Barbados and live music can be enjoyed all across the island. more...
The English speaking Caribbean island Barbados measures just 34 kilometers in length and as much as 23 kilometers in width. The island, located most easterly of the Caribbean Island chain was known to be a stopover and settlement site for the Amerindians. Barbados was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos while en route to Brazil in 1536. He named the island Los Barbados, meaning the 'Bearded One' after the islands Fig Tree's whose long hanging aerial roots have a beard like resemblance. Since the Amerindians abandoned the island and the Portuguese never really settled in Barbados it was easy for Captain John Powell to claim the territory for England in 1625. Barbados gained full independence in 1966, which is celebrated annually on the 30th of November.
Barbados is mostly flat. Its rolling hills, deep rifts and gullies provide a scenic home to colorful and interesting plants and wildlife. Its west coast boasts beaches of fine white sand bordering a blue-green Caribbean sea while the Atlantic Ocean supplies the east coast with waves that inspire surfers and other water sports enthusiasts. Since the currents are stronger on the east coast its more suitable for strong swimmers. The south coast of Barbados is one of the most tourist-orientated parts of the island with some fantastic beaches, great resorts and a vibrant nightlife. One of the most beautiful spots on Barbados is the botanical garden Andromeda in the parish of St.Joseph along the east coast of the island which features an enormous collection of plants and trees including many cacti. A visit to the nearby ‘flower forest' comes with a breathtaking view over the Atlantic Ocean.
The influence of the English on Barbados is more noticeable than on other islands in the West Indies. A good example of this is the island's national sport, cricket, which is virtually a religion to the Barbadians (Bajans) and its “temple” is called the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, the nations capital. Horseracing, soccer and polo are also very popular. When it comes to food, items such as black pudding and souse or fish cakes with rice and peas hint to the English tradition. Thankfully there is much more to Bajan cooking. Typical Barbados food uses an interesting blend of herbs and spices known as Barbados seasoning or Bajan Seasoning. This blend includes thyme, marjoram, green onions and parsley to name a few. Barbados rum is apart from a favorite drink also a popular cooking ingredient.
The constant breeze of the trade winds gives Barbados a mild and pleasant tropical climate, with average temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees. The tropical climate is reflected in the music like the Calypso, Soca, R&B or Reggae. Their rhythms are the soul Barbados and live music can be enjoyed all across the island.
The Barbados calendar is filled with events, the most popular and colorful being Crop Over, a five-week summer festival. Its origins can be traced back to the 1780's, a time when Barbados was the world's largest producer of sugar. At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest - the Crop Over celebration. As the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so too did the Crop Over festival and in the 1940's the festival was terminated completely. However, the festival was revived in 1974 and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to make the extravaganza that exists today. The streets come alive with a huge parade of colorful costumed revelers moving to the loud music. Crop Over is the highlight of the Bajan year for locals and an excellent time to visit this Caribbean Island.