The premier cultural event in Granada is ‘Spice Mas’ is Grenadian expression in all its glory, climaxing during the second Monday and Tuesday in August, this annual event with multiple activities takes months of planning and coordination. Brimming with pageantry and expression linked to African, French, British and Caribbean heritage, Carnival is colourful, humorous and full of surprises.
Calypsonians, steel pan orchestras, beauty contestants, ‘fancy mas’ bands and others perform and parade to compete for Carnival honours. Grenadians gather to watch, participate and enjoy. Many take on disguises in the costumes of ‘Shortknee’ and ‘Jab Jab’ players.
The Shortknee tradition combines pieces of distant Grenadian history expressed through masks, dance, chants and colourful costumes. Armored with tiny mirrors to reflect enemies and ankle bells to make music, masqueraders in knee-length pants carry talc powder as they stomp through towns and villages. The powder is a symbol of appreciation and sprinkled on those who make cash donations.
Jab Jab revelers paint their bodies black, put red helmets with make-believe horns on their heads, and march in energetic groups. Originating with African and European rituals, Jab Jab has evolved as an integral part of contemporary Spice Mas, shedding long ago customs of frightening Carnival patrons and establishing a unique rhythmic chant to Carnival. All this and more, can be part of your Spice Experience.
Photo credit: travel.allwomenstalk.com.