The inception of carnival in the Caribbean is a bit complex. It’s origin is connected to colonialism, religion, and ultimately freedom and celebration. Carnival in the Caribbean derived from Italian Catholics Carnevale in Europe, which spread to France and Spain. French and Spanish slave traders brought this tradition with them when they colonized Trinidad, Dominica, Haiti, Martinique, and other Caribbean islands. Historians believe the “present-day” Caribbean Carnival started in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 18th century when French colonizers began their high-society tradition of Fat Tuesday masked parties on the island.