Spicemas, Carnival in Grenada is an experience that everyone should try at least once. The colors, the music, and the people make it one of the Caribbean’s most exciting events. With so many events and different types of parties, there are a few things you should know before you go to Grenada Carnival.
When is Spicemas?
The three main events of Carnival in Grenada are:
- J’ouvert Morning (The second Monday of August)
- Monday Night Mas (Same day as above)
- Pretty Mas (The following day/ second Tuesday of August)
- Jab Jab Fest (The Jab Jab character dress up)
- Children’s Carnival Frolic
- Beach Fest
- National Carinal Queen Show (Grenada’s young women compete for the title of Carnival Queen)
- Pure White (The ultimate all white dress-up event)
- Soca Monarch Finals (Live steelpan bands completion)
While these events are fixed by the days of the week, the actual dates will vary each year.
Aug 04th – Aug 11th.
Enjoy Grenada Carnival on the streets of St. George’s in the spice of the Caribbean – Grenada.
The word Carnival comes from the Latin phrase “farewell to meat”. And was originally celebrated the night before Lent. It’s said that the French and Romans indulged in meat the night before Lent with wild celebrations (leaving their slaves out of the celebration).
Like many islands in the Caribbean, Grenada celebrates a colorful and exuberant carnival. Since 1981, Grenada Carnival has taken place on the second Monday and Tuesday in August.
Before Grenada independence in 1974, the Grenadian carnival was celebrated on the traditional date of the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.
After celebrating Grenada carnival on Easter and in May, it was decided that August would be a suitable date as it wouldn’t compete with the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival and that time of the year was better placed to allow expatriate Grenadians and those with Grenadian roots to be able to return home during the summer months of the North American and European seasons.
Grenada Carnival Monday
From dawn on Carnival Monday (J’Ouvert), traditional masqueraders dressed as devils called Jabs-Jabs (French Creole, from diable diable ‘devil devil’) parade through the streets of Grenada. They are joined by the Ole Mas who are individuals that present satire and theatre on the events of the past year during the morning.
In the afternoon, the traditional and fancy Mas bands participate in the Monday parade. These traditional masqueraders feature the striking Short Knee bands. With identical head coverings, batwing sleeves, and three-quarter (short knee) baggy trousers, they chant and box the air as they dance through the streets from their villages into the capital of St. George’s. They carry talcum powder as they make their way through the towns and villages. The powder is a symbol of appreciation and sprinkled on those who make cash donations.