The ‘Spicemas’ Experience: Grenada’s Extravagant Carnival
Carnival, commonly referred to as Spicemas, is the most anticipated experience in Grenada. Though it culminates on the second Monday and following Tuesday in August each year, the festivities preceding also play a role in enjoying the entire Carnival experience. The colors, frolicking, music, and festivities continue to draw an abundance of visitors each year, whether tourists, St. George’s University students, or returning nationals, and our guide is an ideal way to not miss out on any of the fun.
Reveling occurs not only during street parades but also almost daily in the weeks preceding carnival. There are numerous types of events available both on land and at sea in the form of boat excursions known as “cruises.” Aside from conventional events where the ticket price only covers admission to the event or varying competitions, there are all-inclusive events where the ticket price includes admission as well as unlimited drinks and food. To stay up to date on all forthcoming events, visit the Go2fete website or download the app, which not only advertises events but also allows you to purchase tickets. Look out for Preeday, Pure White, Soca Monarch and so much more.
Carnival Monday and Carnival Tuesday (the second Monday in August and the following Tuesday) feature parades, street jams, and mas playing. Most of the Mas playing (except for Jouvert) require the purchase of packages that include drinks, costumes, food and so much more. If you simply want to observe you can line up across the street where the bands will be passing by, which is completely free to do. These celebrations begin early in the morning and last late into the night, so be prepared to be a bit sleep deprived all in the name of having a good time.
J’ouvert – J’ouvert kicks off the carnival marathon on Monday morning around 4 am. Masqueraders parade through the streets, backed by steel pans, drums, DJs, and trucks. Mas players are adorned in horned helmets and other associated accessories and are also blackened in grease (Jab Jab) or covered in paint. It’s worth mentioning that other parishes outside of St.George play Jouvert on Tuesday mornings, so you can try it out in different settings.
Monday Mas – Monday Mas begins about midday and continues well into the evening. Revelers parade down the street in Monday Wear, which is often a bodysuit for ladies and shorts for males. Packages are received from varying bands.
Monday Night Mas – Masqueraders dressed in different band’s packages, each with their own truck with varying DJs onboard each pumping Soca music. Packages frequently include t-shirts or bodysuits, as well as different types of hand-held lights and accessories. It’s a festival of colors, and it’s one of the most anticipated. Popular bands are Carib Brewery, Amazing Colors, etc.
Pretty Mas – Pretty Mas, which takes place on Carnival Tuesday, is the finale of all the activities. Masqueraders are dressed in pretty colored costumes with feather backpacks that are designed and created by local, regional, and international designers. Traditional Mas players such as Short Knee, Wild Indians, Viecorps, and others can also be found on the road. Mas players can be seen running in a circle around the Kirani James Boulevard roundabout, chipping down the road, and having a fantastic time. Do you want to participate? Then look out for Lavish, Vibemas, Oro Carnival, Golden Mas, Nirvana, Andre Garvey and Associates, Helen Marie and Associates, and so many other bands, indicating that there is a band for everyone.