Jamaica is famous for being a festive country. Aside from the big Christmas celebrations in December, Jamaicans host huge parties and events in August to celebrate the island’s independence from the United Kingdom. The people of Jamaica know how to throw a party and if you ever have the chance, you have to see it for yourself to understand how great it is. Here we give you everything you need to know about Jamaica’s independence day celebrations.
In the United States it’s the fourth of July. In Mexico it’s the 16th day of September. In Jamaica, one day of festivities isn’t enough, so the island’s independence gets celebrated for a whole week. The official independence day of Jamaica is August 6th, yet the festivities begin August 1st, which marks the day slaves were given full freedom in 1838 (also known as Emancipation Day). These five days leading up to the national holiday are filled with lots of fun cultural activities, including lively festivals, street dances, live performances, beach parties and vibrant parades.
The Emancipation Jubilee
This event celebrates the end of slavery in Jamaica and it features traditional Jamaican food, fashion, drumming, crafts and performances by some of the island’s most popular artists. Activities begin at 10 in the morning, and go throughout the day, finishing with the midnight reading of the 1838 Emancipation Proclamation – the official document that conceded freedom to slaves in Jamaica. This event is celebrated on the eve of August 1st, and it is the opening event to all of the festivities.
Regional Festival Bandwagon
This islandwide mobile showcase of different performers is a must see. The energy and vibrant colors of the costumes and decorations make this a parade worth attending. The parade makes various stops throughout the main towns of Jamaica, making its way through the island.
Independence Day Village in Kingston
Here is where you’ll find the best of Jamaican culture. This festival goes from August 1st to the 5th and is hosted at Kingston’s National Arena. You’ll find many family friendly activities – such as booth displays, concerts, food courts, and a children’s village. Additionally, there are special events every day, making it an event full of variety.
The Western Jamaica Independence Village
This festival takes place in Montego Bay and includes a street parade and different activities that are suitable for members of the whole family, such as rides and attractions, food courts, nightly concerts and a kid village. The best part: it’s all free of cost.
If you are ready to experience one of the biggest weeks of celebrations in the Caribbean and you want to spend an unforgettable time in the island of Jamaica, check out Hilton Rose Hall to book your stay in Montego Bay.