Carnival: Vincy Mas 2009


The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Carnival has grown to be the nation’s premiere national cultural festival. The carnival, popularly known as Vincy Mas, will take place this year from June 26 to July 7.

Much like other carnival festivities in the Caribbean, Vincy Mas is a celebration of African culture, European tradition, and Caribbean folk lore. More than the spirit of enjoyment, the Mas “epitomizes the celebration of the talent, artistry, and craft” displayed by panists, calypsonians, and masqueraders alike. Vincy Mas events include The Miss Carival Show [“Carival” is a derivative of the words “Caribbean” and “Carnival”] and the Mardi Gras Parade of the Bands, where Masquerade Bands compete for Band of the year. The Dimanche Gras Show highlights the finals of the National Calypso Monarch Competition, King and Queen of Carnival and Panorama. The Soca Monarch Competition in Victoria Park is another major attraction. Here soca artists “are pitted against one another as they use stage craft fused with up-tempo soca melodies to whip the crowd into a frenzy” while they compete for the top prize. For children, there is the Junior Carnival, Junior Calypso, Junior Soca Monarch, and Junior Panorama. Not to be missed is the J’ouvert party that ushers in the final day (Mardi Gras) of the Vincy Mas. [For more on J’ouvert and carnival traditions, see Carnival in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands]

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