Rihanna was seen partying it up for her native Barbados’ Crop Over festival this past weekend. The Bajan songstress danced to calypso and “Played Mas” while riding the Zulu International Band Float. She wore a sexy yet festive two-piece for the carnival-like holiday that celebrates the sugar harvest.
Although this event seems like a time for dancing and drinking, it has a deeper meaning. Crop Over is a folk festival that evolved out of two cultures: Italian Catholic and West African. It’s one of the oldest western festivals and dates back to the 1780s when plantation workers proclaimed the end of the sugar crop with feasting and dancing on plantation grounds. When the last cart of sugar cane made its way to the mill yard, a slave would beat a makeshift drum announcing the “Crop Over.”
In today’s Crop Over festival, Bajans continue to commemorate their ancestors with a three-month celebration filled with dancing, feasting, parades, an emancipation walk and many other heritage-filled events.
Check out photos that celebrate the heritage and history of the Crop Over holiday.