It was an amazing crush of people, body to body, making their way along the stretch of road surrounding St. George's Bay, Grenada. They were covered with paint from the paint trucks, most of it self-applied, as they shuffle danced to the unbelievably loud soca music coming from the DJ trucks inching along with the crowd. The soca beat is primal.
JUST A SMALL PART OF THE CRUSH OF PEOPLETHE RED AND YELLOW PAINT TRUCK
ONE OF MANY DJ TRUCKS
This carnival event is the Jouvert (pronounced 'jouvay', coming from Jour Overt, meaning 'daybreak'). The participants start partying on Sunday night and keep going till the Jouvert parade officially begins at 5 am. Then they slowly parade/dance their way into town. They were still going strong at noon. Clearly exhausted, but clearly exhilarated.
THE JOUVERT CONGA LINE
JOUVERT DIRTY DANCING?
The Jouvert is truly a marathon. And yes, there's plenty of drinking. Beer and rum is handed out from some of the DJ trucks, and there are kiosks with food and drink all along the parade route. The blue smoke in the air brought back memories of the 70s. But despite the 'partaking', or maybe because of it, the mood was always relaxed.ANYONE FOR A COLD CARIB AT 8AM?
I GET THE CARIB, YOU GET THE SPRITE.
It's hard to describe the atmosphere. For every smile there seemed to be a serious face. The combination of raw intensity and joyful energy was compelling. We were spectators most of the time but occasionally joined in.JOUVERT SMILES ......
...... AND JOUVERT INTENSITY.
The Jouvert belongs to everyone. The locals own it and love it. There are bigger and better organized Carnival events - steel band competitions, Carnival King and Queen pageants, costume parades - but the Jouvert captured us.
And the final parade didn't disappoint. Our two favourite pictures from that day say it all. Enjoy. We did. THE CLASSIC MOMENTS WERE EXPECTED ......
...... BUT THE UNEXPECTED ALSO DELIGHTED.