J'Ouvert (pronounced "Jou-vay") is derived from French patois and means 'daybreak'. J'Ouvert marks the official start of the two day carnival celebrations in Trinidad & Tobago. It usually officially commences at 4:00 a.m. on Carnival Monday.
During Carnival Monday morning and in the early hours, the first revelers hit the streets - jumping, dancing, shouting - abetted, it must be admitted, by the fine local rum, but fueled more by the exhilaration of the occasion.
This early "Mas", known as "J'Ouvert", (a contraction of the French "jour ouvert", or "day open"), is for the true die-hard player. It's ritual enacted to the accompaniment of mud, oil, pitchforks and pointed tails.
In essence it is the celebration of the darker side of human life! Most revelers usually join sections in which hundreds of people party together!