Grenada gears up for carnival

17th May 2004

St. George’s and other towns in
Grenada will be alive this August 9th and 10th when the annual celebration
of Grenada’s Carnival culminates in a two-day festivalConsidered by many
to be an unforgettable time to visit the island, the event will
include exciting calypso and steel band competitions, along with colourful
costume parades, street “jump-ups” and a traditional “Carnival Queen” beauty

Visitors will enjoy dancing to the rhythm of calypsos and steel bands in the
streets of St. George’s and other towns until dawn, as well as viewing
colorful costumes that add to the beauty of this spectacular Caribbean

Carnival itself comes from the Latin word carnelevare, which means,
“farewell to meat.”  Medieval Romans and Frenchmen started the tradition by
gorging themselves on meat and merriment the day before the commencement of
the strict fasting that was imposed by Lent.

The festive, quasi-religious
celebration traveled to the Caribbean in the 17th century via the French
aristocracy who threw magnificent masked dances at their plantations between
New Year’s Day and Lent.  The slaves began mimicking and parodying their
elaborate dresses and courtly manners. 


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