A Hop, Skip, and Jump Away: The Carriacou Parang Festival

A short 15 minute flight or 90 minute ferry ride away, the island of Carriacou is an easy-to-reach destination that many travelers to Grenada enjoy taking in. Some visitors make a day trip of it with the quick flight, while others choose to spend the night and explore the island a little more. December is an excellent time to visit Carriacou and enjoy the sounds of the tropics at the Carriacou Parang festival.


Image source: http://www.ospreylines.com/

About Parang Music

The local folk music of Parang has a long history in the Caribbean. Brought to Trinidad and Tobago by Venezuelan migrants of Amerindian and African descent, the word Parang comes from the Spanish words “parranda” (a spree or fête) and parar (to stop). In years past, parang serenaders would pay nighttime visits to their family and friends; waking the household from their beds, they would then perform. A new version of parang, Soca Parang, has emerged, blending soca and parang music.

Parang Festival

Image source: SpiceIslander.com

About the Festival

The Christmas season starts as early as October in Grenada. Decorations start going up and the radio starts playing traditional carols fused with island beats, that is: Parang music. December brings the Annual Carriacou Parang Festival, with festivities carrying on from Friday, December 16th to Sunday, December 18th. The festival is meant to keep alive the spirit of “house to house” serenading of string bands and hosanna carol singing around Christmastime.

Santa Claus @ Parang 2010

Image source: http://carriacouparangfestival.com/

Filled with fun, humor, and great music, competing groups of eight perform a carol selected by the committee, as well as a piece of their choosing. The bands are dressed in colorful outfits, and instruments include the bass drum, iron/steel, guitar, quarto, violin, marack (shack-shack), mandolin, saxophone, tambourine, and any other percussion instrument that can make a melodious sound. A Saturday night bingo also occurs, with cash prizes to be won.

Men From The Mainland & Fans Receive Winning Trophy (Parang 2006)

Image source: http://carriacouparangfestival.com/

Traveling to Carriacou

A part of the tri-island state, visitors to Carriacou need not bring any additional travel documentation with them to visit the small, beautiful locale. You can leave all of your documents in your Laluna room safe and travel without a care. From advising on the best place to stay or helping book your passage to Carriacou, Laluna’s Concierge Desk can help arrange your trip to the Festival.