If you’re in Pure Grenada from 23rd to 28th February and you want to have a one-of-a-kind traditional mas experience, then our sister island Carriacou is the place to be for Carriacou Carnival 2017. It’s the place for wonderfully expressive street dances, soul shaking soca music, fun fancy mas bands, calypso competitions, the authentic Shakespeare Mas and unforgettable J’ouvert Morning. Shakespeare Mas involves the recitation of Shakespeare verses, making it a unique highlight and feature of Carriacou’s Carnival that you won’t witness anywhere else in the world.
If you’re already intrigued and raring to go, we want to make sure you’re fully prepared for your first ‘Kayak Mas’, so we’ve put together eight essential tips that will ensure you have an awesome and cultural awakening experience.
1. Secure Your Seats and Sleeps
The popularity of Carriacou Carnival grows every year so make sure you plan early to avoid disappointment. Click here to visit our accommodation section and tick Carriacou to find a hotel, guest house, villa or home stay option to your liking. Once you’ve booked, you’ll need to figure out how to get there. Osprey Lines operates a daily shuttle service to Carriacou by sea. Check the departure schedules and fares here. The 2.5-hour boat journey will be packed with revellers so make sure you arrive at least an hour early to secure your seat, pack light and take sea sickness tablets if you suffer from motion sickness. Wear a hat, sunglasses, sun cream and bring an umbrella to protect yourself from the elements. You also have the option of flying to Carriacou with SVG Air, which is a great opportunity to see stunning aerial views of our tri-island state. You can find flight schedules and rates here.
2. Brush Up On Your Shakespeare
Carnival in Carriacou is still very much traditional, which is why it is the only place you can witness revellers still mimicking the customs of plantation owners. During Shakespeare Mas, revellers dressed in brightly-coloured clothing, white facemasks and knee-length socks have face-offs by reciting passages from Shakespeare. Each reveller carries a bullwhip and if the passages are recited incorrectly, it results in a strike with the bullwhip. This colourful stand-off starts in different villages throughout the island and end up in the town of Hillsborough where there is a battle with revellers from the south and north of the island. If you want to get involved we suggest you start brushing up on your Shakespeare now!
3. Get Acquainted
Being a bystander is no fun. To truly experience Carriacou Carnival you need to get involved. Start by getting to know and understand the music and lyrics, type in Carriacou Carnival in YouTube and get acquainted with the hottest hits for 2017. If there’s anything you don’t understand you’ll surely have a laugh trying to find out. Who know’s it might inspire you to create a themed costume for J’ouvert Morning.
5. Pack Comfortable Casual Clothing
Not only will you be masquerading through the streets of Carriacou, you’re highly likely to get extremely messy during J’ouvert Morning with the generous distribution of oil, paint and powder. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothing that you don’t mind throwing away after. If you let your inhibitions go and you’re comfortable, we guarantee it will be the experience of a lifetime. Oh and a very important tip, if you plan on playing mas the Kayak way, make sure you lather up with vaseline so you can wash the oil off easily.
6. Join a band
Everyone is welcome, so don’t just take pictures of the band, be in the band! Costumes for Kiddie’s Carnival, Monday Night Mas and the Parade of the Bands will all be on display at the Grenada Tourism Authority Office in Carriacou, so you can sign up and get your costumes as soon as you arrive.
7. Try Local Food and Drinks
During Carriacou Carnival food can be easily purchased from street food vendors and shops. If you’re brave enough, stop by at a local rum shop and give the local tipple Jack Iron or Carriacou Jack a try. Be prepared for the strength and drink responsibly.
8. Master the Power Nap
During Carriacou Carnival we don’t sleep, we take power naps. There are lots of exciting parties, stage shows and street parades in the lead up to Carnival Monday and Tuesday, so create an itinerary and plan what you’ll want to see and do in between island tours and beach breaks. Click here to find out this year’s schedule. We suggest you take your vitamins, drink lots of water, have militant power naps in and between the revelry and know your limits when you’re having fun in the sun.
Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and share them with us on social media with the hashtag #PureGrenada.
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