(Photos via Instagram)

This week thousands of revelers hit Jamaica for what’s being called the largest Carnival in the island’s history.  While many people associate carnival with Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil, Jamaica Carnival has been going on for decades, showcasing the best in music, culture and entertainment on one of the largest islands in the Caribbean.

theGrio was on the ground in Kingston capturing all the excitement of ‘Carnival in Jamaica’ Road Marches, where masqueraders came out in their finest costumes.  Think real-life Wakanda + soca, dancehall, sunshine and plenty of good vibes!

We joined Xaymaca International (“xaymaca” was the original Arawak native term for Jamaica, meaning ‘land of wood & water’), one of the hottest and fastest-growing bands to see how they did Carnival, and the costumes were next level.

These were just some of the best designs spotted on di’ road in Jamaica, highlighting that beauty comes in every color, shape and size– and when it comes to Carnival, everyone is king and queen for the day!

  1. This “Stone Gold” Natural Babe Phoenix Goddess slayyyed from head to toe.

Still thinking about my amazing experience yesterday ✨✨ @xaymacainternational

A post shared by NaturalBabe Xx Nikitha ? (@naturalbabe10.11_pro) on

2. Jamaican beauty and IMC studies major Tonaya Wint served bawdy and rich melanin in her “Luxor Costume”!

3. Businesswoman Kasi B. (who also happens to be girlfriend of Jamaican Olympic champion Usain Bolt) shut down di road in this gorgeous white-feathered ensemble.

A post shared by Kasi J. Bennett (@kasi.b) on

4. Artist manager and booking agent Shelley Edwards was pretty in pink and serving up bold accents in her Broadtail Design costume (loving the face jewels)!

5. Boys just wanna have fun too! Comedian and content creator Rohan Perry gives us royal purple in his Xaymacan costume and we love the gold accents from head to toe.

6. This “denim diamond” ensemble worn by Jamaica’s Mishonie Swack is covered in pearls and straight drippin’- we love the bold red lip that pops!

✌ until……2019 #IamXaymacan

A post shared by Mishonie Swack (@mishonieswack) on

7. How beautiful is Charlotte O’Reilly in this Emerald Lush green feathered costume?!  The natural pony-bun at the top sits perfectly above her headpiece.

8. Brittany C. from Jamaica wears a Stardust costume that gives us Victoria’s Secret runway model vibes. Watch it glisten in the sun as she turns around- shine bright girlfriend!

9. See how feter Jamilah Curry added her own touch to the Orphic costume with these custom beaded sunglasses? Come through sis and show them why black is beautiful!

10. And last but not least, this orange ensemble worn by Jamaican model Toya looks beautiful on brown skin, poppin with jewels across the chest on down to her wrists.  The joy in this pic is worth a thousand words!

Baby me say rock and come in! ?? #myfirstcarnivalexperience #jamaicacarnival2018

A post shared by TOYA ?? (@__toyabae) on

So which costumes are your favorites?

Tell us in the comments below and make sure you subscribe to theGrio’s YouTube channel where we’re dropping an exclusive “Carnival In Jamaica” video series this weekend.

We’ve got all the best tips and info to plan your trip to Jamaica Carnival 2019!

Natasha S. Alford is Deputy Editor of theGrio.com and a carnival lover who has traveled to Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and now Jamaica in search of the best carnival experiences. 

Follow her at @natashasalford for more of her 2018 Jamaica Carnival Diary.