If celebrating life’s freedom on a picturesque island tickles your fancy, then Spicemas is for you! The larger of two carnivals in Grenada, affectionately called Spicemas due to the country’s fame for spice production, culminates on the second Monday and Tuesday of August every year. Carnival week climaxes with a frenzy of steel pan music, Calypso and Soca competitions, parade of the mas bands, and showcase of the Spice beauties. The flavour of Spicemas is sweetened with the weeks of activity buzzing in the villages. River fest, street parties, and even the rum shop limes exude a sense of euphoria around carnival time. Carnival is felt through the veins of Grenada right up until the crescendo on Carnival Tuesday.
During Spicemas contemporary music meets a traditional heritage. The pulsating rhythms of Soca and Calypso dictate the movement of masqueraders like a puppeteer. The greatest feeling is to surrender yourself to the bass of drums, the ringing of steel, and the happy melodies of carnival.
J’ouvert morning is decorated with colour and social commentary. Thousands of Jab Jabs flood the streets, glistening in the twinkles of dawn, chanting as they play goat-skinned drums and trumpet the conch shell. The Jab Jab is the most striking traditional masquerader, with its oily black skin; head adorned with a pair of horns; and red mouth usually carrying salted fish or smoked herring. The Jab Jab is mysterious and assertive, much like the other traditional masqueraders. The Shortknee, Vieux Corps, Wild Indian, and Moko Jumbie all depict a part of Grenadian heritage that has transcended through time. J’ouvert takes place on both Carnival Monday and Tuesday in different parishes around the island.
Monday Night Mas is also a must-see and must-do in Grenada. On Carnival Monday night, after J’ouvert and the parade of the mas bands, thousands take to the streets to create the best light show on Earth! Each band competes with a specific theme using glow sticks, neon lights, and reflective clothing. This roving street party is lead by music and the fun instructions given by the MC of the respective bands.
Spicemas is for the versatile partier who can dress up in dey DanDan to go to Permit Fête, and can also rock a comfortable outfit to go to the Cow Pen. It’s for the reveller who can leave J’ouvert doused in five different colours and be back on the road two hours later in a fancy mas band.
Spicemas is the epitome of how life should be celebrated. The safety and security that Grenada offers, allows you to ease your mind… and wine!