Reggae and soca music give Jamaica Carnival, known as Bacchanal, its true Caribbean flavour and electric atmosphere. Cheer on the Soca Monarch competition and don't miss the early morning Beach J'ouvert.
Jamaica Carnival is influenced strongly by Trinidad's world-famous street party. Top Trinidadian soca acts, steelband ensembles and mas (costume) designers play a central part in Jamaica's carnival and the concept of J'ouvert (French for 'opening of the day'), when revellers chip (shuffle feet) in early morning darkness to pulsating soca, was also borrowed from Trinidad.
Aspiring soca artists from different parishes compete for soca supremacy, thousands of dollars in prizes and a chance to compete at a regional level at the Soca Monarch competition.
Carnival is celebrated in parishes such as Negril, Mandeville, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, with each of these areas organising their own costumed street parades, blowout fetes (parties) and, of course, Las Lap - the final jump-up party.