This year the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique will be celebrating its 29th edition of Spicemas, Grenada’s Carnival celebrations, which are renowned for their color, creativity, and unique cultural character. The 2010 Grenada Spice Mas celebrations will culminate from August 6 through 8 at various venues (a link to the program is provided below).
The festivities begin in July with the opening of various Calypso Tents where local calypso bards sing to vie for a chance to compete on the big stage of the National Calypso Monarch Competition. The Carnival celebration gains momentum in early August with cultural presentations and calypso shows almost every night of the week and the night air is filled with the sound of steel bands rehearsing their unique musical arrangements for the Panorama competition. Events include the Soca Monarch and the Calypso Semi-finals, the GCC/Lime Soca Monarch, the Traditional Mas Competition, the Children’s Carnival Frolic, the National Lottery Panorama Steel Band competition, the Carnival Queen Show, Dimanche Gras, J’Ouvert, and the final Parade of the Bands, among many others.
Many revelers begin a flurry on non-stop carnival celebration at the Dimanche Gras show and continue straight into J’Ouvert, where in the wee hours of Monday morning, the traditional jab-jab or Devil Mas bands parade through the town. The carnival devils disappear with the rising of the sun, making way for the traditional and Fancy Mas bands in the Monday parade, the Pageant, and Monday Night Mas. Each parish has its own brand of traditional Mas characters including Short Knees, Vekou, and Wild Indians.
In the past, the revelers (or Jab-Molassi) blackened their bodies with stale molasses, tar, grease, creosote, or mud to play tricks and “frighten” onlookers. In modern times, the traditional Jab-Molassis have mutated into other creatures of color, with blue, yellow and green devils joining in the early morning parade. Tuesday is the final attraction, the Parade of the Bands.
For schedule of events, see http://www.spicemasgrenada.com/events/
For more information, see http://www.spicemasgrenada.com/