Spicemas (Grenada Carnival)

Spicemas (Grenada Carnival)
Photo: spicemasgrenada.com
Spicemas is an annual Caribbean Carnival that takes place in the island country of Grenada. It officially launches in April, but the main festivities are held throughout the summer months, culminating in early August.

Grenada is known as the “Island of Spices” due to being one of the world’s largest exporters of nutmeg. It also produces and exports cloves, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, mace, and citrus peels. No wonder that the largest annual festival in the country was named after Grenada’s nickname.

Spicemas officially opens in April but all the main events begin in late June. The festivities culminate on the second Monday and Tuesday in August. The so-called Carnival Monday and Tuesday are public holidays in Grenada, filled with calypso music, partying, and delicious food.

During Spicemas, numerous calypso and soca bands perform on stages located throughout the island. They don’t just entertain people, they also compete for the coveted prizes and titles, such as SMC and LIME Soca Monarch, Groovy Soca Monarch, and SMC Calypso.

The highlight of Carnival Monday in Grenada is J'Ouvert, a traditional party that starts in the early hours of the morning. J'Ouvert is the term used in most Caribbean countries, but only in Grenada this party is also known as Jab-Jab or Devil Mas. It features masqueraders blackened with mud, tar, stale molasses, grease or creosote, and wearing horned helmets. They dance through the streets, trying to dab a bit of their body paint onto unsuspecting bystanders.

Jab Jab is followed by a colourful parade (pageant) featuring costumed bands of revelers from all over Grenada. Each parish has its own type of costume. The revelers gather at the National Stadium and parade through the streets of St. Georgies, accompanied by calypso tunes.

Carnival Tuesday is dominated by street bands that march the streets of St. Georges. Its highlight is the grand parade of the bands including bands from all parishes.


Photo: Spicemas




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