Soca and calypso music, jab jabs and Shakespeare Mas was just a portion of what could be seen in the streets on Grenada’s sister isle of Carriacou over the past few days. The town of Hillsborough was transformed into a hub of cultural activities – activities only Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique could deliver.
It all started at 5am on Monday morning when hundreds came out to participate in the Annual Jouvert celebrations. Revelers paved the streets for hours in a sea of blue, yellow, gold and black. They danced through the town of Hillsborough with brightly painted bodies following large sound systems as they cruised through the streets; some on stilts, others in the middle of the streets and some looking on with sheer admiration.
As though they gained a new burst of energy, many would return to the town of Hillsborough that same night for Monday Night Mas. Following trucks with huge sound systems similar to that morning, revelers would sing and dance until 12am the following day.
Tuesday morning led to the villages of Mt. Royal and Brunswick for a Shakespeare Mas performance - something that can only be witnessed on the island of Carriacou. Colorfully clad, performers would try to recite as much of Julius Ceasar’s Shakespeare piece without any mistakes so as to avoid a crack of the whip (otherwise referred to as a bull pestle) for punishment. This then led to a large theatrical performance in the town as performers left their villages to challenge each other in the heart of Carriacou. If this was not enough, everyone came out again later that evening to see the parade of the Mas bands followed by the massive street party otherwise known as ‘the last lap.’
After witnessing this, it was no wonder all you could hear was chatter about the events gone by. Visitors spoke of the Shakespeare Mas and Jouvert with such astonishment, referring to it as something that they had never seen before but must participate in next year. They all strolled to the beaches and other picturesque spots on the island with a cheerful glow on their faces. We guess it is safe to say that once you have discovered the uniqueness of Carriacou’s Carnival Celebrations, your life will never be the same.