Grenada carnival, also known as Spicemas, is one of the largest and most popular Caribbean carnivals anywhere in the world.
Offering a series of events including parties, parades and festivals in the months leading up to the main carnival season in August, which includes all the main features you expect to find at a Caribbean carnival, such as the Soca Monarch competition, J'Ouvert, Dimanche Gras, Monday Night Mas and of course the grand finale of the parade of the bands.
Port Louis Marina continues to offer premium berthing facilities for yachts wishing to visit and experience one of the world’s greatest carnivals, known to many as the premier cultural event in Grenada and marked by two days of public holidays, when shops and banks close for the celebration.
Like many countries in the Caribbean, Grenada celebrates a colourful and exuberant carnival. Since 1981, ‘Spicemas’ has taken place on the second Monday and Tuesday in August (8th & 9th August 2022). The main carnival events in Grenada take place in the small capital city of St George’s, where the large trucks blaring music are guaranteed to keep the city awake throughout the carnival weekend!
Before independence in 1974, the Grenadian carnival has been celebrated on the traditional date of the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. But, after experimenting with celebrating the carnival on Easter and in May, it was decided that August would be a more suitable date as it wouldn’t compete with the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. Plus, in August it 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.
Zara Tremlett, Marina Manager at Port Louis Marina comments,
“The Carnival is a huge attraction for the island of Grenada and we are delighted to show support towards this years event. The whole island is immersed in the activity which is so rich in Grenadine culture. The whole team and I at the marina look forward to welcoming yachts wishing to be a part of the fun and exciting celebration.”
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.
Next come the modern costumed bands who cross the stage at the National Stadium before parading through the streets of St. George’s in the afternoon sun, gyrating to the beat of the year’s most popular calypsos.
The costumed bands are often heralded by the arrival of the King and Queen of the band, the large costumes which vied for King and Queen of Carnival during the Sunday night Dimarche Gras.
The Carnival celebrations draw to an end on Tuesday with the parade of the bands. Known as ‘Last Lap’, Masqueraders and bands from all parishes dance through the streets in their brightly coloured costumes to the delight of the throngs of onlookers, accompanied by the sounds of calypso music, steel bands and DJ’s playing the latest carnival songs.
See you at the Carnival, and be a part of all the annual celebration!