It’s carnival time in Grenada!! We knew when we arrived we knew would be here for Carnival but we didn’t really know what to expect. There are several events that take place throughout the summer leading up to carnival but big events happen the week of Carnival and the national holidays are Monday and Tuesday of the Carnival week in August. As we got closer to Monday and Tuesday of Carnival week we realized this is a bigger holiday than Christmas. The whole island is buzzing in celebration. Grenadians plan all year to have a fun Carnival.
One of our favorite events of Carnival was the Panorama! What is panorama??? It was the big steel drum pan band competition on the Saturday night of carnival week. The winner will get to represent Grenada in the Caribbean competition in Trinidad. All of the bands are from certain towns or parishes throughout the island and each group is made up of about 55-60 performers. All of the instruments are different kinds of drums. Each performance was about 8-10 minutes long (that was just one song). I am not sure if you can see from the pictures but they do not play with sheet music. It was an amazing performance to see and everyone enjoyed it.
|Yes, this group is actually from Florida but not the Florida that we know!|
|This was one of the newest groups and one of my favorites.|
Now we come to big Monday and Tuesday festivities. To kick things off at 6am on Monday morning they have the Jab Jab parade. This is a celebration of their African ancestors and it involves a very early morning wakeup call and walking through town with horned hats and covering yourself in motor oil. Yes, you read that correctly! Everyone who went said it was a lot of fun but we opted to sleep in on Monday and skip Jab Jab.
Let’s move on to the Monday night celebration called the Monday Night Mas. The streets downtown are closed off and there are food vendors galore! The parade is made up of groups of people that walk through town behind a flatbed truck blasting soca music and doing a routine that will be judged and an adult beverage truck follows each group to refill the participants drinks along the way. I am not sure what was judged but I think it had to do with coordinating the waving of glow sticks and just generally having a blast. This was a lot of fun to watch with our friends from SV Soultice and our ears were ringing at the end of the night.
|Reunited with Brooke and Barrett (SV Soulstice) from George Town. They made it just in time for Carnival!!|
|We found somebody with their Jab Jab hat from the morning parade. Dan had to try it on! He told us the official pose was rolling your eyes back and sticking out your tongue.|
|Let the parade begin!!|
|Found another person with their Jab Jab gear and he gave it to Sam to wear for a quick picture. The picture turned out a little spooky with the low lighting.|
|The girls enjoying the parade!|
|The Carib group - the biggest group in the parade. It just meant a long walk back to the drink truck for the participants.|
The fun wraps up on Tuesday afternoon with the Pretty Mas. This is what most people think about when they hear about Carnival. The parade of colorful costumes with feathers and sequins. Again each group was in costumes from certain parishes and towns throughout the island. There was lots of loud soca music and adult beverages. Our group was dragging a bit from the late night on Monday but we were very happy we decided to come out to see the parade. We loved all of the colors and energy that Carnival brings to the island.
|The kids ready for the parade!|
|Let the fun costumes begin!|
|The winners of the Panorama contest got to play in the Pretty Mas.|
|Can you see the powder flying behind us??|
|More from the Panorama winners!|
|Just enjoying the day!|
|Loving these costumes!|
|So much color! Oh.. and they don't want anyone to carry glass bottles so everyone carries around an adult sippy cup of some kind and gets it refilled at the beverage truck that follows their group.|
|Each group had men dressed up in these type of costumes. We have yet to figure out what they mean. They all looked very similar but with different colors and they threw baby powder everywhere.|
|So much fun watching the parade!|
|This is what the sound system for each group looked like - it was so loud!!|