Spicemas in Grenada: A Celebration of Culture, Freedom, and Natural Beauty

Grenada, often referred to as the “Spice Isle,” is a jewel in the Caribbean known for its vibrant culture, exquisite cuisine, and breathtaking natural landscapes. One of the most anticipated events on the island’s calendar is Spicemas, a lively carnival celebration that encapsulates Grenada’s rich heritage and traditions. This annual festival brings together locals and visitors alike in a captivating blend of music, dance, vibrant costumes, and a deep appreciation for the island’s treasures. 

I arrived on Carnival Thursday, my journey began with a seamless process through immigration/customs and a warm welcome of smiling faces, steel pans and rum. As I boarded my taxi to my home away from home for the week, I reveled in how lush and green the island was. A 5-minute drive from the Maurice Bishop International Airport, we pulled up to Sandals Grenada – an all-inclusive resort.


Imagine stepping into a world of lush serenity, where every detail is meticulously designed to provide an exquisite escape from the ordinary. Sandals Grenada offered precisely that—an oasis of opulence nestled within the stunning Caribbean landscape. From the moment you arrive, you’re enveloped in a cocoon of luxury, where attentive staff, lavish amenities, and impeccable service combine to create an unforgettable experience.

Upon arrival, I was escorted to the “butler den,” where I was introduced to my dedicated butler who was at my service throughout my stay. This butler is not just a staff member; they become your personal concierge, ensuring that your every need is met. This service was a life saver in between events where I did not have time to grab a meal from one of the dedicated restaurants on property.

In addition to well thought out services, my bedroom suite was grand with my very own swim up pool, an outdoor and indoor tub, a large bathroom and ample living room space for me to relax and soak in the lush landscape of the resort.


Calypso Monarch: Ticket Cost $25US

The Calypso Monarch competition in Grenada is a highly anticipated and prestigious event that forms an integral part of the annual Spicemas carnival celebrations. Calypso, a genre of music with deep roots in Caribbean culture, serves as a platform for social commentary, storytelling, humor, and artistic expression. Attending the Calypso Monarch competition reminded me of my carnival outings with my parents as a child.

Soca Monarch : Ticket Cost $40US General / $190US VIP 

There is one event that captivates the hearts of both locals and visitors—the Soca Monarch competition. This annual soca music extravaganza, held on Carnival Friday, is not only a showcase of musical talent but also a manifestation of friendly rivalry and tradition that adds an electrifying pulse to the island’s carnival celebrations. This battle for two prestigious titles: Power Soca Monarch and the Groovy Soca Monarch, was exciting to witness in person. The whole stadium came alive as we each rooted for a winner.

The Biggest White : Ticket Cost $40US General / $190US VIP 

The Biggest White Party was a celebration of grand proportions that showcased the epitome of elegance and excitement. We were transported to a world of sophistication, where the dress code revolves around the color white. As we entered through the exclusive VIP section, we were greeted by an array of delectable dishes and an assortment of drinks.

Central to the excitement of the Biggest White was an impressive lineup of live performances by renowned soca artists like Boyzie, Kes The Band, Skinny Fabulous, and more. The infectious beats and electrifying performances created an atmosphere of unbridled joy, uniting the audience in a shared experience of music and dance.

Rum Boat All Inclusive –  Ticket Cost $150USD 

We attended Rum Boat, hosted by C4 Promotions and Vibe Mas Carnival. Around 10AM, we boarded the Harbor Master and headed to the bar where we were greeted with strong cocktails. However, it seems that there was a mixed reaction to the meal option provided during the event, with many attendees not being satisfied. I must say though, the vibes were on overload. The mix of local and foreign DJs providing music created a vibrant atmosphere that kept the crowd filled with excitement.


I love being behind a big music truck, something about it just feels so free and transformative. So imagine how happy I was to see that I would get to jam behind a truck four times in two days. In Grenada, pace is the name of the game. After Biggest White, we prepared our bodies for jouvert. Baby oiled down, an integral pre-preparation ritual, we were bound for the Carenage around 4AM.

Jab Jab Jouvert – Monday at 5AM (Free) 

Jouvert, a vibrant and free-spirited celebration, holds a special place in the hearts of Grenadians. This pre-dawn event is a powerful tribute to the island’s history and resilience. At the heart of Jouvert lies the Jab Jab masquerade, a deeply significant tradition that emerges as a testament to Grenada’s past and its indomitable spirit. My black charcoaled body releasing every remnant of worry. I felt so free. For me, the sight of Jab Jabs dragging chains was deeply moving. I had chills thinking about people who looked just like me shackled and mistreated.

The Jab Jab masquerade is a post-slavery carnival tradition that carries profound historical significance. “Jab Jab” is believed to be derived from the French word “diable,” meaning “devil.” This masquerade is characterized by its participants, known as “Jab Jabs,” who adorn themselves with an array of vibrant and often intimidating elements. Their attire features dark paint, oil, and even molasses, creating a striking appearance that harkens back to a time when slaves would use such materials to deter recognition and/or reclaim their freedom from plantation owners.

We scrubbed off our oil remnants and went back to Sandals to change for Monday Mas. Another carnival parade where we would adorn our bodies with band provided monday wear or your own. The carnival parade started around 11AM.

Monday Mas – Monday at 1PM (Included in Vibe Mas costume price) 

Since its debut in 2022, Vibe Mas Carnival had been on my radar, playing mas with them was a desire that finally came true. The excitement was palpable when the band launched again, unveiling costumes that were just as stunning as I had hoped. The journey from that moment to actually picking up my costume and participating in the festivities was nothing short of magical.

Registering for my Vibe Mas costume was a breeze. Online registration allowed me to input my sizes and food preferences, ensuring that every detail was accounted for. After months of eager anticipation it was finally time to pick up my costume. The process was incredibly smooth and well-organized. A dedicated customer representative walked me through my costume package, ensuring that everything was in order. As I opened my goodie bag, I was pleasantly surprised by the thoughtfulness of its contents. From a motorized fan to an assortment of cups, snacks, local spirits, towels, and more, it was clear that Vibe Mas had gone the extra mile to ensure that masqueraders felt pampered and well-prepared.

The presence of a seamstress on-site underscored the band’s commitment to ensuring that masqueraders felt their best.

Monday Night Mas – 11PM ($65USD + depending on package options) 

I knew Monday Night Mas was a thing in Grenada but it did not register in my sleepy brain that I would need to summon the energy to attend another road experience after powering through Jab Jab Jouvert and Carnival Monday. Never the less, I adorned my body with another jeweled bikini and my curious excitement. We found Liberation band around 12AM and reveled in the Night Mas experience. I loved carnival with no sun. Level pace, drinks and sparkling lights, it was a sight to behold.

Carnival Tuesday – 1PM (Included in Vibe Mas costume price) 

Carnival Tuesday arrived, and with it came a day of jubilation. When I finally donned my costume, I was in awe of how stunning it looked. The gold body wear and intricate trimmings complemented my skin beautifully, creating a radiant and captivating ensemble.

The tropical heat was no match for the motorized fans but the pulsating beats of the music and the exhilaration was infectious. The carefully curated playlist encompassed the vibrant sounds of various Caribbean islands, with a special focus on Grenadian Soca.  My Spicemas experience was extraordinary. The fusion of music, color, culture, and camaraderie made both days a joyous celebration that will forever hold a special place in my heart.


House of Chocolate: A Sweet Delight

Beyond the festivities of Spicemas, Grenada’s chocolate heritage beckons visitors to delve into its delectable world. The island is known for producing some of the world’s finest cocoa beans, and its chocolate industry has gained international acclaim. The House of Chocolate, a hidden gem in St. George’s, offers a delightful journey through Grenada’s cacao history. At the museum we learned about the chocolate-making process, and savored exquisite chocolate creations. This immersive experience adds a delectable layer to the island’s cultural offerings during the carnival.

Annandale Waterfall: Nature’s Oasis

While Spicemas is an explosion of color and energy, Grenada’s natural beauty is never far away. Amidst the revelry, we made time to checkout several gems in Grenada. The Annandale Waterfall was a serene oasis of tranquility, with lush grounds that provided an enchanting escape from the carnival excitement. Our lunch there was the icing on the cake after a day of exploration. I would highly recommend visiting and jumping in. We also visited Fort Frederick, the Carenage and Nick’s Barrel House,  where we tasted the 5th strongest rum in the world and learned about the meticulous rum making process.

I’d like to mention that this trip would not have been possible without Industry360 and Grenada Tourism Authority. Thank you for a well curated trip, I could not have asked for a better team of new and old friends to experience Spicemas with. 

Spicemas in Grenada is a celebration that encapsulates the soul of the island, seamlessly blending cultural heritage, delectable flavors, and carnival characters. From the bustling Carenage to the captivating Jab Jab parade, each facet of this carnival paints a vivid picture of Grenada’s charm. As the rhythms of soca music intertwine with the island’s heartbeat, Spicemas stands as a testament to Grenada’s ability to honor its past while embracing the vibrancy of the present. It’s an experience I will never forget.

Interested in attending Spicemas? Here’s a guide to get you started: Planning Grenada Carnival Guide 2024

Stay Pure Grenada

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