The Road Calling: diGJamaica’s Ultimate Carnival Checklist

Carnival season is earmarked on many calendars as a time for excitement and fun. In Jamaica, Carnival has become a staple around Easter time. Bands clad in brightly coloured costumes can be seen palaving and parading their way through streets, with boom boxes blasting out a mixture of dancehall and soca songs. When it comes to Carnival time, there are some thing that every seasoned jumper knows you never leave home without. Here’s our ultimate Carnival checklist:

1. Sunblock

It’s the Caribbean. It’s a tropical climate. It’s an all-day outdoors affair. It’s common sense. Wear sunblock to protect your skin from overexposure to UV rays that can cause wrinkling and cancer.

2. Waterproof satchels to cover phone

Let’s be real: half the fun of Carnival is the fact that you get to share this moment with your friends. Ergo, there will be selfies, there will be plenty pictures, Instaposts, and possibly some Snaps. What many people forget is that there will be an abundance of water (including your own sweat), and your phones will need protection from all that liquid loveliiness. So ensure you have a waterproof satchel for your phone.

3. Wristlet

This is an extension of Point 2. You will need a wristlet in which to place little essentials like your lip gloss, a little face powder, some deodorant, and cash. Ensure that this, too, is waterproof, and not too bulky.

4. Jamaica flag

Because it’s Jamaica, and you have to represent! It’s the iriest little nation on the planet, and you want everybody to know that part of what you celebrate at carnival is all the unique awesomeness that is packed into the country that boasts the black, green and gold!

5. Stockings

Nude stockings are must-haves for ladies during Carnival. Ensure that you pick yours up early as (naturally) demand for these increase the closer it gets to Carnival time, and when demand goes up, so do prices, and (unfortunately) availability takes a nose dive.

6. Hardy, comfortable footwear

Please note, this needs to be footwear that has already been broken in, because a whole day of jumping and new shoes can spell hell for your feet. So ensure you have comfortable footwear. Most people opt for either boots or sneakers.

7. Rags and towelettes

Carnival is a whole-day ‘wuk-up’ that leaves you shedding barrels of sweat. You will need your rag or towelette for practical purposes. But also, you will need something to wave when you hear the sounds of your favourite soca songs filling the airwaves. That rag/towelette will come in pretty handy.

8. Cup or tumbler

Dehydration is real. And so is thirst. While some places will supply revellers with cups and jugs for drinking, there is a tradition of bringing your own Carnival cup – just in case.

9. Glitter and sparkles

What is Carnival without all of the fabulous shimmer and glitter that gets strewn along the road long after the jumping and revelling is done? It is what Carnival make-up is all about. Don’t forget to set your makeup appointment early, or allocate adequate time to get all dolled up for the big day.

10. Anti-perspirant

Think about it. You’re jumping and working up a sweat all day. Do you want to be the grinning reveller whose highly charged armpits render other revellers speechless, sightless and senseless for a little bit? Ensure you pack back-up anti-perspirant – just in case yours expires. You don’t want to turn someone’s revelling experience into something rather unpleasant.