Music and dance play a significant role in the cultural expression of the islands. Soca and Calypso are the sound of the colourful and joyous ten-day Carnival, held at the end of July and beginning of August, celebrating the emancipation of slavery in the twin islands. Another prominent art form is steel pan music, which originated in Trinidad but has found a home in the twin islands and can be heard across the islands at festivals and celebrations and the weekly Sunday party at the iconic Shirley Heights Lookout. Reggae, although originating in Jamaica, is also considered the sound of the Caribbean and can be heard in beach bars across the islands.
Visual arts and crafts also thrive. The island is home to many local and international artists inspired by the incredible light, colours and culture around them. Local artisans create intrinsic and colourful works, and traditional crafts like pottery, basket weaving and wood carving, which are deeply rooted in the island’s identity.