Brooklyn's annual Caribbean J'Ouvert Festival kicks off

Scores of bikini-clad women took to the streets of Brooklyn in elaborate to mark the annual West Indian Day Parade. 

Revellers added a splash of colour with feathers, body paint and incredible costumes just hours after the more sombre Caribbean J'Ouvert Festival, which saw marchers donning devil horns, metal chains and doused in motor oil to portray the struggles of the past.

Participants in the march, which kicked off at 11am, paraded their colourful costumes and feather headdresses against the backdrop of steel-pan and calypso bands.

A group of people dressed in purple stand in the street during the festival. One woman, pictured right, can be seen carrying a Jamaican flag and another, pictured in the center wearing an elaborate bikini, holds a drink

A group of people dressed in purple stand in the street during the festival. One woman, pictured right, can be seen carrying a Jamaican flag and another, pictured in the center wearing an elaborate bikini, holds a drink

Gob-smacking peacock-type dresses and outfits fill the streets of New York for the West Indian Day festival in Brooklyn 

Gob-smacking peacock-type and outfits fill the streets of New York for the West Indian Day festival in Brooklyn 

Massively elaborate costumes were the theme for the afternoon after the early-morning costumes took on a darker theme

Massively elaborate costumes were the theme for the afternoon after the early-morning costumes took on a darker theme

A woman with a decorated face of crystals poses for the camera in front of her elaborate pink-feathered costume for the festival

A woman with a decorated face of crystals poses for the camera in front of her elaborate pink-feathered costume for the festival

A woman in blue strikes a pose for the camera as thousands of other revellers gather on the streets of New York in the US

A woman in blue strikes a pose for the camera as thousands of other revellers gather on the streets of New York in the US

Two women in tiny bikinis take part in the festival. Some believe the J'ouvert traditions may also be in remembrance of the civil disturbances in Port of Spain, Trinidad, when the people smeared themselves with oil or paint to avoid being recognized

A woman with gold bracelets, multi-colored beads, a gold headpiece and matching bag and a neon bikini strikes a pose for the camera

A woman with gold bracelets, multi-colored beads, a gold headpiece and matching bag and a neon bikini strikes a pose for the camera

A woman laced in purple at the festival which kicked off in the early hours of Monday morning with tens of thousands of revelers donned in devil horns, metal chains and doused in motor oil to portray the struggles of the past.

A woman laced in purple at the festival which kicked off in the early hours of Monday morning with tens of thousands of revelers donned in devil horns, metal chains and doused in motor oil to portray the struggles of the past.

There had been talk of canceling this J'Ouvert Festival party, which started at 6am, because of past violence.

Instead, officials tightened security and moved the starting time two hours later with officers patting down revelers, vendors and residents hours before that.

Some people complained of long delays getting into the festival area. Others refused to let the hassles get in the way of a good time.

One woman dancing with her arms outstretched as an officer runs a hand-held metal detector over her.

A participant in the West Indian Day Parade marches down Eastern Parkway in celebration of the Caribbean Carnival on September 4, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

A participant in the West Indian Day Parade marches down Eastern Parkway in celebration of the Caribbean Carnival on September 4, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

 Participants in the march, which kicked off at 11am, paraded their colourful costumes and feather headdresses against the backdrop of steel-pan and calypso bands

 Participants in the march, which kicked off at 11am, paraded their colourful costumes and feather headdresses against the backdrop of steel-pan and calypso bands

Two women in elaborate dresses pose up. The festival of J'ouvert, which dates back to the emancipation of slaves in the early 19th century, is celebrated across the Caribbean and in Caribbean communities all over the world

Two women in elaborate pose up. The festival of J'ouvert, which dates back to the emancipation of slaves in the early 19th century, is celebrated across the Caribbean and in Caribbean communities all over the world

Huge dresses measuring more than 10-foot in height make their way down the street in Brooklyn, New York, as a woman in a snake costume flashes a glance at the camera

Huge measuring more than 10-foot in height make their way down the street in Brooklyn, New York, as a woman in a snake costume flashes a glance at the camera

A woman laughs in her feather costume at the festival where earlier tens of thousands of costumed, paint-slathered revelers gathered on the streets in Brooklyn in the early hours of Monday for an annual festival honoring their slave forefathers

A woman laughs in her feather costume at the festival where earlier tens of thousands of costumed, paint-slathered revelers gathered on the streets in Brooklyn in the early hours of Monday for an annual festival honoring their slave forefathers

Jab Molassie dates back to sugar plantation days when recently freed slaves would daub themselves in molasses, a thick black sugar by-product, as a Jab, or devil, costume for J'ouvert. But here is a woman's elaborate take on the festival

Jab Molassie dates back to sugar plantation days when recently freed slaves would daub themselves in molasses, a thick black sugar by-product, as a Jab, or devil, costume for J'ouvert. But here is a woman's elaborate take on the festival

A group of colorfully dressed women march through the streets of Brooklyn clad in feathers for the West Indian Day Parade

A group of colorfully dressed women march through the streets of Brooklyn clad in feathers for the West Indian Day Parade

Earlier on Monday, tens of thousands of costumed, paint-slathered revelers gathered on the streets in Brooklyn in the early hours of Monday for an annual festival honoring their slave forefathers.

The festival of J'ouvert, which dates back to the emancipation of slaves in the early 19th century, is celebrated across the Caribbean and in Caribbean communities all over the world.

Revelers donned devil horns, body paint and even oil at the event which kicked off at 6am this morning.

It is the start of a carnival that includes the separate New York Caribbean Carnival Parade later Monday featuring 'pretty mas,' or masquerade. 

But while the masquerade is full of revelers in giant feathery costumes riding on bright floats, J'ouvert marks a darker point in history.

Many of its costumes, called 'ole mas,' are a nod to the original celebrations that began in Trinidad in the mid-1800s when slaves were emancipated.

A woman holds up a placard reading 'Antilla' as an army of pink, blue and purple-themed festival-goers pound the streets

A woman holds up a placard reading 'Antilla' as an army of pink, blue and purple-themed festival-goers pound the streets

A woman holding a drink poses for the camera with her sunglasses tucked into her bikini as she plays on her phone in the street

A woman holding a drink poses for the camera with her sunglasses tucked into her bikini as she plays on her phone in the street

Two women in sparkling bikinis made from encrusted jewels and colorful beads and feathers pose for the camera in New York

Women in gold bikinis and headgear made of blue, green and gold feathers dance int he street in front of a Brooklyn museum

Women in gold bikinis and headgear made of blue, green and gold feathers dance int he street in front of a Brooklyn museum

Women with Jamaican and Grenadian flags tucked into their bikini bottoms walk around the streets among the festival-goers 

Women with Jamaican and Grenadian flags tucked into their bikini bottoms walk around the streets among the festival-goers 

A colorful group of festival-goers are pictured mid-dance routine on the street as the carnival gets underway in New York

A colorful group of festival-goers are pictured mid-dance routine on the street as the carnival gets underway in New York

A woman with her arms stretched high dances during the festival's party afternoon on the streets of Brooklyn in New York

A woman with her arms stretched high dances during the festival's party afternoon on the streets of Brooklyn in New York

J'ouvert's costumes are called 'ole mas' and are a nod to the original celebrations that began in Trinidad in the mid-1800s when slaves were emancipated

J'ouvert's costumes are called 'ole mas' and are a nod to the original celebrations that began in Trinidad in the mid-1800s when slaves were emancipated

One couple appear to be chained at the neck, in remembrance to the festival's roots during the emancipation of slaves 

One couple appear to be chained at the neck, in remembrance to the festival's roots during the emancipation of slaves 

Devils symbolize slave masters, such as this reveler who donned horns and 'blood' as well as a baby's pacifier  

Devils symbolize slave masters, such as this reveler who donned horns and 'blood' as well as a baby's pacifier  

Revelers don colorful costumes, a nod to Caribbean culture, history and emancipation as they take part in the street carnival 

Revelers don colorful costumes, a nod to Caribbean culture, history and emancipation as they take part in the street carnival 

J'ouvert, which draws tens of thousands of costumed celebrants, has been plagued by violence in recent years resulting in new intensive security measures 

J'ouvert, which draws tens of thousands of costumed celebrants, has been plagued by violence in recent years resulting in new intensive security measures 

Today's event saw increased security measures, but that didn't prevent revelers from having fun

Today's event saw increased security measures, but that didn't prevent revelers from having fun

Some people dress in rags and don helmets with giant horns. Others cover themselves in black paint, grease or motor oil in a very traditional 'mas'

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