Vincy Mas is a colorful Caribbean carnival that begins on the last Friday of June and runs for 12 days. This year, it is held from June 30 to July 11. It is held in the Caribbean country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The biggest parades are on J’Ouvert and Mardi Gras, which take place on the last two days of the festival. It features traditional street parties, calypso, metal drumming, performances, and parades and is the largest festival in the country which is a great source of national pride. The festival has non-stop activities and events ranging from musical performances to the Miss SVG competition. Other events are the Soca Monarch Contest and the Junior Pan Fest. Vincy Mas attracts thousands of tourists a year and has become an important event for the country’s economy.
History of Vincy Mas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The Vincy Mas carnival is a result of the mixing pot that is in the Caribbean. It is a celebration that is a mix of the customs of the colonizers, slaves, and indigenous people. Initially, Vincy Mas was a pre-Lenten carnival. The word carnival alludes to “removing of meat” from the Latin words ‘carne levare.’ The origins of this festival can be traced back to the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat, alcohol, and other bodily pleasures for 40 days before Easter. Thus carnival is the last time to partake in these luxuries before the start of Lent.
Carnivals were incorporated around the 17th and 18th Centuries with the arrival of the French and English settlers. Originally Vincy Mas was only celebrated by the European settlers and these were privately hosted parties that occurred in homes. As time went on, many of the indigenous people converted and religious ceremonies took hold. These ceremonies grew to incorporate traditional Creole practices as well as customs from African religions that had been brought to the island by the freed slaves.
Calypso music was introduced in the 20th century however, the festivities were not yet popular, as they were still performed by certain sectors and not everyone was included. Today the Vincy Mas has its own unique identity and has incorporated and integrated various cultural practices to make it what it is. There are various musical performances of traditional music, soca, calypso, and concerts as well as metal drumming contests. Additionally, the city’s children are also catered for with various activities held specifically for them.
Vincy Mas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines timeline
A carnival is only a single-day event.
The general public begins to participate.
The Kingstown Town Board is the main organizing body to lead events.
Beauty pageants and carnival queens are to be incorporated into the celebrations.
The Jaycees become the organizing body and introduce the grand Panorama competition, electronic music, and calypso tents.
The duration of Vincy Mas changes, becoming a 12-day festival culminating in J’Ouvert and Mardi Gras.
Vincy Mas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines FAQs
What demographic are St Vincent and the Grenadines?
The ethnic composition is approximately 66% African descent, 19% of mixed descent, 6% East Indian, 4% Europeans (mainly Portuguese), 2% Kalinago, and 3% others.
How many people live in St Vincent and the Grenadines?
The current population of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 110,947.
What language is spoken in St Vincent and the Grenadines?
The official language is English.
Who brought Carnival to the Caribbean?
Historians believe the first “modern” Caribbean Carnival originated in Trinidad and Tobago.
Vincy Mas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Activities
Attend Vincy Mas
Immerse yourself in the Vincy Mas festivities and spend 12 days celebrating in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. There’s no better way to celebrate than to get in the spirit of things.
Host your own Mardi Gras
Create your costume, invite your friends and host your own Mardi Gras celebration. See what creative costumes you and your friends can come up with.
Download and create a steel pan playlist
Create your steel pan playlist and get into the Carnival mood with traditional festive music. Have a blast with friends and family!
5 Facts About Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
Only nine islands are inhabited
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines consist of 32 islands and cays but only nine of them are inhabited.
It boasts the world's oldest botanical gardens
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines boast the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere which were formed back in 1765.
The national bird is the Amazona Guildingii
The national bird is the Amazona Guildingii, also called the Saint Vincent Parrot.
It once had pirates
“Pirates of the Caribbean” shot multiple scenes for three of its movies here.
There is an active volcano
The volcano called La Soufriere, meaning ‘Sulfur Mine,’ is active and erupted in 2021.
Why We Love Vincy Mas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
What's not to love about a carnival?
Vincy Mas is 12 days of celebration. Enjoy music, dancing, performances, and food.
It is inclusive and multicultural
The festival draws from all the cultures that can be found on the island. This creates an inclusive celebration for all.
There are many and varied activities
Many activities and events cater to everyone. Even the grumpiest person will find something that appeals to them.
Vincy Mas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines dates