Carnival in Grenada

Although Grenada has been celebrating a carnival for hundreds of years, Carnival is a holiday that’s been celebrated officially on the second Monday and Tuesday in August every year since 1981. Also known as Spicemas, this holiday has been observed on the traditional date of the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.

Even though this holiday is traditionally observed with the two official days off, it’s not uncommon for Carnival celebrations to last for quite a few days longer. This event is one that attracts people from all over the world and features lots of music, dancing, and of course, colorful outfits and parades.

The History Of Carnival In Grenada

All different types of carnivals have been celebrated for thousands of years around the world, and they can be traced back to Ancient Rome. In fact, the word “Carne Vale” is a Latin word that literally translates to “putting away the meat.” That’s because carnivals have traditionally been tied to Catholic Lent, a period before Easter in which people give up meat. So the carnival was the last chance for people to indulge themselves before the 40-day period of abstinence for Lent.

In Grenada, Carnival Monday (known as J’Ouvert in French) features masqueraders who were dressed in devil costumes as known as Jab-Jabs (from the French Creole phrase for “devil devil,” diable diable). These parades would go down the streets of Granada and were attended by thousands of people, just like the carnivals of today.

Eventually, Tuesday would be added to the public holiday to give carnival-goers an extra day off for the festivities. Before Grenada achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1974, this holiday was observed on the Monday and Tuesday before Lent. Now, it’s observed on the second Monday and Tuesday in August.

Observing Carnival In Grenada

This holiday is observed with plenty of calypso music, dancing, and parades. People dress in colorful costumes for the parades, and the streets are filled with observers. People also enjoy traditional Caribbean food and drinks on this day. It’s also a day off for the general population and a day for everyone to let loose and enjoy themselves.

Where is it celebrated?
Grenada (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
Next year (2024)
Last year (2022)