Wanna Know The Real Big Ones?
Generally speaking our Jamaican celebrations pays tributes to, recognize, and honor our people - past and present, our culture, our music, our food, sports and everything that defines us Jamaican.
We have lots of them and there are year round! If you ask me, I would probably tell you they fall into four (4) categories:
The Music Festivals
Thanks to the extreme popularity of Reggae Music, our music festivals are well known globally.
Reggae Sumfest, Reggae Sunsplash (in its time), East Fest, Sting and Rebel Salute, are probably some of the biggest names in local music events.
Of course, their is also the
annual International Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues festival, The Ocho Rios Jazz festival, The Port Royal Music festival and the ever exciting Jamaica Carnival.
Inagurated in 2008, the Reggae Academy Awards (IRI Awards) is also a a major item on the music calendar.
We have ten (10) national holidays, four of which are Christian holidays
- Ash Wednesday,
- Good Friday,
- Easter Monday
- and Christmas Day,
The other 6 are more secular- Labour Day, Independence Day, Emancipation Day, National Heroes Day, New Year's Day and Boxing Day.
Heroes Day, Emancipation Day and Independence day however are a lot more reflective and a lot of appropriate events takes place to recognize that.
In fact, it is typically those days that the diaspora celebrate with us from wherever they are in the world.
Canadians for example, celebrate our independence day with Jamaica Day.
No need to guess which is my favourite! Yeah, I love them :-)
Every time I visit one I see something unique, something new! There are Curry Festivals, Mango Festivals, Breadfruit Festivals, Jerk Festival, Yam Festivals, Bammy, Crab, Lobster, Shrimp & Seafood Festivals, and even Chicken Back festivals, and they are held right throughout the year!
There are also the annual food and agricultural shows for example, the Denbigh and the Hague agricultural shows.
Cultural & Sports Celebrations
Oh boy, we have quite a few here. In addition to the designated holiday celebrations, we also have:
- The annual Bob Marley Birthday celebrations held on February 6th each year,
- The National Festival of the Arts which runs through the summer - beginning early on and ending on Jamaican Independence Day, and
- The Accompong Maroon Festival which takes place each year on January 6- the birthday of Captain Cudjoe who defeated the English army.
- And I need not mention sports! That is year long and they come in all flavours. Athletics is probably the chief among them.
- We also have Heritage Fest, an annual festival, held each fall in that celebrates and uses food, dance and music to explore the diversity of Jamaica's population.
Heritage Fest pays homage to all of the diverse ethnicities found in Jamaica. By the way, many other food, cultural and music celebrations happens all over the world were the diaspora resides. The UK, Canada and the US are dominant.
For specific information on any of these, and other Jamaican celebrations or events, please check with your local travel agent or your guest relations desk at the hotel.
You may also bookmark my current events in Jamaica and annual events in Jamaica pages as well. It keeps you up with the very latest news from Jamaica.
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A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.
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