J’ouvert, the dawn celebration at the Boston Caribbean Carnival, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. Thousands splashed with oil, paint, talcum powder and flour danced down Talbot and Blue Hill avenues in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood to soca and calypso music played on horns, conch shells, drums and bells.

J’ouvert is a contraction of the French “jour ouvert,” meaning dawn or day break. The tradition reaches back to Trinidad and across the Caribbean to the time of European colonial enslavement of Africans shipped there and their subsequent liberation. It blends carnival and celebrations from all these cultures.

Photos copyright Greg Cook.

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