April 11, 2023 -Carnival in Jamaica is back this week, with Caribbean Americans running home to experience the festive atmosphere across the island during the weeklong celebrations from April 12 to 18.
The main Carnival event day, which will be held this Sunday, April 16 and is called the Road March, is an annual event that has been on three-day hiatus, due to the pandemic. On this day especially, members of the diaspora indulge in Caribbean culture via the sea of colorful, show-stopping costumes, intoxicating music, and sizzling street food stalls.
Carnival in Jamaica is a celebration of soca and calypso, with the island’s main musical genres, reggae, dancehall, included. During Carnival weekend, there’s an uptick in tourism numbers, as thousands of visitors flock to the island to enjoy the week long of parties and fetes as part of the countdown celebration to the main event. These events include a number of breakfast parties and nighttime fetes, with partygoers active all day and night.
The best way to truly be immersed in the celebrations is by joining a Mas Band. Mas bands, short for masquerade bands, are one of the biggest parts of Carnival. Masqueraders dress up and showcase their costumes, covered in feathers, glitter and plenty of color. Every year, Mas Bands will have a different theme and costumes to match. The bands in Carnival Jamaica 2023 are Bacchanal Ja, Yardmas, Xodus, Ochi Carnival, GenXs and Downtown Carnival. They all offer their own unique experiences, but whichever band a partygoer chooses to join, being a part of Carnival is the best way to experience the occasion.