experience the rich cultural heritage of carriacou

Carriacou is an island where many traditions are kept alive by the indigenous population who are very proud of their heritage. There are also many festivals throughout the year to celebrate various cultural landmarks. We have listed below a few of the more interesting events that take place throughout the year on Carriacou.

The Carriacou String Band and Maroon Festival - 2010 was the inaugral year for this festival which celebrates the cultural heritage of string bands along with the traditional Maroon, celebration of life. String bands are exactly what they say - a group made up of musicians playing stringed instruments, some home made, some purchased or sent from relatives overseas. Instruments include guitar, banjo, ukele, shakshak, traditional drums and in more modern times, electronic keyboards. The songs often tell stories of the island beauty, welcoming visitors, beautiful island women...
You can listen to The Country Boys from Carriacou on myspace
Here is a link to a short video about the Carriacou String Band and Maroon Festival on YouTube

All Saints - every year on All Saints day (November 01) and All Souls day (November 02), you will find familiies in Carriacou paying homage to their ancestors by visiting their graves to perform the libation of a splash of rum chased by some water and to light candles. This is a spectacular tradition to witness - a whole hillside graveyard lit up by fires and candles, people singing, sharing food and telling old time stories.

Carnival - this major festival takes place immediately before the start of Lent. There are often many pre-carnival parties and events in the weeks leading up to the actual carnival weekend. Carnival itself kicks off with the Queen Show or the Soca Monarch Show on the Sunday night which leads into "j'ouvert" - a street party which continues through "day break" and peaks a few hours after sunrise. It is said this tradition dates back to the emancipation from slavery in 1838, giving former slaves the opportunity, to not only participate in Carnival, but to embrace it as an expression of their new found freedom. Following on from j'ouvert is the parade of the 'mas' bands - full of colourful costumes often depicting local characters or gossip on the island.

Easter Kite Flying - easter is the time for flying kites all around the island. Look high in the sky and you will see all kinds of kites - all shapes and sizes and everyone young and old participates. There is a kite flying competition at one of the local schools - well worth a visit. 

Regatta - taking place the last weekend in August, Carriacou Regatta has something for everyone - there are races for all classes of yachts, the local wooden workboat sloops, the junior sailors race their Optimists and even the children race their model boats. There are many onshore activities such as donkey racing, tug-o-war, greasy pole, crab racing as well as plenty of food, drink and evening entertainment by local and foreign artists. Find out more from the Carriacou Regatta Festival website

For a full listing of events in Carriacou and Grenada visit the Grenada Board of Tourism website