I was so excited to see Carnival celebrated Grenada style, that I shared a video earlier. I couldn’t wait until I got caught up in my blogging. I added it back in this blog in case you missed it, which will be more of a photo album, because I really can’t explain the things we saw. Dark, crazy fun with oil, paint, chocolate, devils, brides, snakes, eels, and so much more…
J’Ouvert starts early and we didn’t want to miss it. So we set the alarm for 3:30 AM. Mind you, the locals have been partying straight through since Friday night and this is Monday morning. Therefore, Dave had some catching up to do. I opted for sobriety. There was no way I could start drinking that early.
We started with a large, clean group of cruisers.
As we walked out of Port Louis Marina, we saw oil splashes here and there. Surely a sign of things to come.
The band trucks were not yet set up, but there was one at the top of the street and there were several street vendors for food or drinks. People of all sorts began amassing.
Even Captain Grenada was there.
“Devils” were seen here and there, but bands of them started to arrive just before sunrise.
Two brides started out stark white. It didn’t last long.
Hard to keep your shorts on when oiled.
Chocolate was popular this year, which smelled better than oil and was less sticky than molasses.
Dave was also glazed. I was just hand printed.
Getting painted is fine, just not the hair.
The clean stand out.
Including the clean officers. People were respectful and avoided soiling the uniforms. They didn’t last the day though. I saw smudges on them here and there. Tough to stay clean when the crowds press in tight by the music trucks.
Like I said, the clean stand out. However, the oilers always asked permission before oiling you.
Dave made a blue friend who took care of a clean spot.
I love this picture.
Whining has been around a long time in Grenada. In the states someone ‘reinvented’ it and called it twerking.
When I said oil went everywhere, I really meant everywhere. On the bodies, on the roads, on wheelchairs and strollers… The roads were very slick to walk on. I wondered how they would drive on them later.
I have a lot more video footage of jab jab, but that gives you a good idea what it was like.
Love Marina’s shower cap. Not the hair!
The video showed some guys rolling around in the road too drunk to stand up. Keep in mind, the whole island shut down and they had been partying for days, some nonstop.
The grotesque devils of olde would frighten people. Some of the traditions are carried on, but they no longer try to frighten onlookers.
I’m sure my mother-in-law doesn’t appreciate this picture. But trust me, it gets worse than live snakes.
She got my vote!
Traditionally, the men bite on fish entrails. We saw things like chicken necks/parts, salted fish, rolled meat of some sort, and utterly unrecognizable bloody things. The blood, though, is from tablets like you might find in a magician, joke, or Halloween shop. Some drooled a green ‘blood’.
I wish this picture came out better! He is wearing a huge eel fish. I didn’t think it was real.
Catherine got close enough to know it was real and very dead. Another guy wore an eel fish that he sliced open lengthwise and wore like a necklace. So gross! Give me the living snake any day!
It was powered up and noisy, but fortunately didn’t cause any harm.
There were lots of people dragging chains and chained together. I’ve read it goes back to post slavery days when the freed people that inherited the islands mocked their previous owners. We could not get anyone these days to tell us it was anything related to slavery.
Aside from chains, we saw TVs, telephones, sleds, boards, and all kinds of other things being dragged. We were truly puzzled by the things we saw. Researching the history would make an interesting paper… if you could get the real story out of people. Jab Jab was a very unique cultural tradition that we were glad to witness and participate in. We never felt threatened, scared, or intimidated and were only treated with respect and good humor. If this event doesn’t look like something you’d enjoy, don’t worry there are many more Carnival events that would better suit you. But I say, don’t knock it until you try it. Just come prepared to get dirty. It showers off.