J'Ouvert: West Indian Day Parade Pre-Party (PHOTOS)

11/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

While many New Yorkers are aware of Monday's West Indian Day Parade, most have no knowledge of the pre-dawn, pre-parade party called "J'ouvert."

Though the origins of j'ouvert are unclear, thousands of parade-goers cover themselves in mud, oil, paint, and elaborate -- albeit skimpy -- costumes and dance the night and morning away. Check out photographer Mathew Rodigheri's pictures below for a glimpse at the unique festival.

West Indian Parade At Night

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