New Year’s – Public Holiday This is done to invite possession, and once the spirit is inside its physical host, it becomes an adviser to the ‘flock’, interpreting messages in tongues. The island of Jamaica has rich cultural traditions and some unique practices when it comes to celebrating the festive Christmas season. Hand-clapping and percussion are an important part of Jamaican Revivalist ceremonies © mauricioalvesfotos / Shutterstock. Owing to the ethnic diversity in Jamaica, there are a number of religions practiced in the country. As duppies are capable of doing both good and evil, many rituals on the island arose as a way to appease these spirits. 1) grave digging 2) funeral 3) wake yard. Learn about the local culture and etiquette in Jamaica. 75. One is Ol’Hige, who leaves her skin at night to go and feast on babies’ blood. A Jamaican wedding is fun and has its own fair share of traditions and customs. Culture and Customs of Jamaica richly surveys the fuller wealth of the Caribbean nation, focusing on its people, history, religion, education, language, social customs, media and cinema, literature, music, and performing and visual arts. Easter, Lent and Good Friday are celebrated in Jamaica in much the same way as it is in the U.S. After church services, Jamaican families celebrate with family outings to the beaches, kite flying, or visiting one of the numerous flower shows. It is a testament to the importance of Bob Marley as a Jamaican cultural icon -- even long after his death -- that Jamaicans hold birthday bashes and celebrations to mark his birthday on or around February 6 of every year. When the duppy tries to follow you, it will immediately be confused once it tries to count the fourth one, leaving you get home ghoul-free whilst the duppy remains permanently on the spot trying to work out where to go next. International Reggae Day – Celebration Join our newsletter to get the latest articles, news, & videos. The day is filled with reggae music, dancing, and the cuisine for which Jamaica is famous. Go tailor-made! Although it has much in common with the region’s pre-Lenten Carnivals, Festival is much wider in scope, including street dancing and parades, arts and crafts exhibitions, and … Once a friendship has been established, women may hug and kiss on each cheek, starting with the right. Many people travel to Jamaica as a vacation place, but it is very likely for the people that reside there to go to a wedding every once in … 10 great places to go walking in Scotland, Why you should visit Eastern Europe this winter. The Carnival events include beach parties, fetes, mas camps, and a road march of bands with colourful costumes. Jamaica also celebrates Christmas, Easter, Boxing Day, New Years Day, and even Chinese New Years. Yúcahu was the God of the sea, and also of the vegetable root that they consumed. Jamaica Carnival – Celebration 4. Obeah practitioners (known as ‘obeah men’) can be hired to use their spells and rituals to bring good or bad luck. Included in such traditions and customs are: Jamaican creole (English)— essentially a mixture of English and African languages; Dance— Dinkini Mini, Kumina and Jonkanoo; Music—Mento (Jamaica’s first original popular music form which is a combination of African and British musical elements). 3. Jamaican Wedding Traditions 08/09/2019 With a relaxed and amazingly hospitable culture, Jamaican weddings are some of the best examples of a real coming together of families – as well as friends and indeed whole communities – for a real celebration! Guests … Jamaica Carnival celebrations start during the Easter time (Resurrection Sunday in some cases). They worshiped both, the forces of nature as well as plants and animals. Having arrived in Jamaica, it is impossible not to notice local culture, traditions, and Jamaican lifestyle. Rough Guides® is a trademark owned by Apa Group with its headquarters at The Nine Nights ritual was traditionally practised to ensure the dead person’s ‘duppy’ did not come back to haunt the living. Distinct African Heritage. The events following a death are . Reggae Sumfest, Reggae Sunsplash (in its time), East Fest, Sting and Rebel Salute, are probably some of the biggest names in local music events. The signing took place in Spanish Town and many go there to celebrate or by attending church. Jamaican Children’s Stories. Why is Kumina performed? Planning to travel here? The customs, traditions, beliefs and lifestyle of the Jamaican people. I'll highlight some of the unique Christmas traditions in this alluring nation, from a local perspective below. Kumina dances can be used at funerals or wakes, weddings and engagements, or any time good luck is needed (such as when a court case needs to be won, for example). Did you know duppies can’t count past three? 5. Revivalism is based on Christianity, but with an African twist – the attitudes towards nature and spirituality are influenced by African religions, as is the style of worship. A mix of European, African, and Asian cultures and traditions have given the world the unique Jamaican culture that is characterized by trouble-free happiness and … Get guidance on how to dress, how to eat and how to address local people. Christmas – Public Holiday Prev NEXT . Jamaica Traditions The music was everywhere reggae, bewitchingseascapes, wonderful sense of freedom and carelessness - this is a sure sign that you are in Jamaica. Kingston has a spectacular fireworks display on New Year’s Eve that’s attended by people from around the world each year. DESTINY. Discover Jamaica Holidays, Festivals and Traditions. Copyright © Simbis Inc. All rights reserved. Labor Day – Public Holiday Kumina is a Jamaican religious ceremony involving music, dance, and spirit possession, and is a way of celebrating and appeasing ancestors. ... Sunday following the wedding, the attendees are invited back to the bride’s home after church to partake in further celebrations. Jamaican traditions surrounding Easter are far different than those in the U.S. and isn’t limited to religious adherents. But it's not quite as simple as that – the practice of obeah is an important part of many people’s lives and one has been practised by families for generations. On July 1, musicians from around the globe descend on Jamaica to celebrate in Kingston. Although many Jamaican death rituals are dying out nowadays, the ‘Nine Nights’ ritual is still going strong – it’s an extended wake that lasts nine days and traditionally involves music, anecdotes, lots of food, and plenty of rum. Bob Marley Week and the Jamaica Carnival are a must-see for visitors, which both take place in winter. But she can be warded off if a crossed knife and fork and Bible are kept next to the baby’s crib. The first step in Jamaican custom is typically a grave digging. Jamaica has more churches per square mile than any other country in the world, so it’s not surprising that Christmas is one of the most important religious and cultural celebrations. Easter bun A tropical version of the hot cross bun popular in England is eaten with cheese during Easter in Jamaica. Celebrated on Aug. 1, the day commemorates the British signing of the Emancipation Declaration that abolished slavery in its colonies. Another terrifying apparition is a night phantom called the Rolling Calf. Copyright © 2020 Apa Digital AG, all rights reserved. The public holiday on May 23 celebrates the efforts of its workers. The lives of the Jamaicans are shaped by their religious beliefs. The religious beliefs of the Tainos were based on animism. After death, one of the souls goes up to heaven and the other stays on earth. The Dec. 25 holiday is just as popular in Jamaica as in other parts of the world. Kumina combines Jamaican dances, traditional songs, and rhythmic drumming – it's very musical in nature and spectacular to watch. In many Jamaican weddings, some traditions are similar to traditions that weddings of other cultures practice, and also some that are not. For these people, obeah is a healing practice that is deeply spiritual and keeps them safe from harm. It was believed by African slaves that a person's spirit took nine days to travel home to Africa, and this is probably where the tradition started. 6 Jamaican Wedding Traditions You Might Not Know About. The primary party spot is Ocean Boulevard. Religion goes hand in hand with Jamaican family culture, and you’ll notice as … Switzerland, 6 fascinating Jamaican traditions and customs, In the footsteps of Bob Marley: a tour of Kingston, Jamaica, Secret beaches in Europe and around the world, Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert, Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support, 6 FASCINATING JAMAICAN TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS, Travel Tips Jamaica for planning and on the go, Getting around Jamaica: Transportation Tips. So it makes sense to keep these spirits happy – and Revivalists choose to do this by praising and worshipping them using traditional dances and songs. Both Port Antonio -- the birthplace of blue marlin sports fishing -- … Jamaican traditions are often a mix of African and European customs – modified and adapted over the years to create the unique Jamaican culture that exists today. Rastas -- followers of the Rastafarian lifestyle -- in Jamaica also hold celebrations every year to mark Bob Marley's birthday. The most common greeting is the handshake with direct eye contact, and a warm smile. Stock Photos from Photos.com, iStockPhotos.com, 123rf. Unlike European Christianity, Revivalist Christianity in Jamaica doesn't believe in a separation between this world and the next, meaning spirits can affect the material world and, by extension, our lives. Festivities run from early December to New Year’s Day, with non-stop parties and family gatherings. Traditional Jamaican Holidays. How Jamaican Traditions Work. Unlike some Americans, Jamaicans like their holidays lengthy. These Jamaican celebrations have become even more marked since the reintroduction in 1997 of another public holiday on August 1, Emancipation Day. Jamaica is an island full of folklore, magic, and spirituality, with a rich culture of traditions, customs, and rituals, many of them religious in origin (although by no means all). Obeah men are still very popular in rural areas but are viewed in many urban communities nowadays as immoral. by Kathryn Whitbourne. Taarties are tarts filled with fruit and topped with whipped cream, and they’re served on birthdays in … Obeah is a belief system that is officially outlawed, although nowadays it's rare for anyone to be convicted for adhering to the practices. Check out The Rough Guide to Jamaica to find out more about Jamaica's fascinating culture, and start planning your perfect trip to this Caribbean paradise. Jamaica Holidays and Festivals. The event is also broadcast online. The fact that some obeah men take money for their services means they are sometimes accused of preying on the vulnerable by profiting from their superstitious beliefs and poverty. Independence Day – Public Holiday National Heroes’ Day – Public Holiday In one such scheme, known as pardner, a group of individuals agree to pay a fixed amount each week into a communal fund that is managed by one elected community member. 7 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR, United Kingdom A great way to outwit your duppy nemesis – this Jamaican superstition is believed to protect against trouble at night by preventing a duppy following you home. This holiday recognises the day slaves were given full freedom in 1838. International Reggae Day – Celebration The shows are riddled with music and jokes based in Jamaican dialect (patois) and culture. Of course, their is also the annual International Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues festival, The Ocho Rios Jazz festival, The Port … It’s also a day when individuals are encouraged to volunteer some time to better their communities by cleaning, painting and helping others. One of the strongest Jamaican traditions concerning death, is that of a wake, also called Nine Night or Set Up. 2. The Roots of Jamaican Culture , 1989. To stop the terrifying Ol’Hige ghost, you'll need to douse her in pepper © Carol La Rosa / Shutterstock. Anytime is a good time to visit Jamaica and its celebrations and commemorative days provide a closer look at the nation’s culture and traditions. Emancipation Day – Public Holiday It is perhaps the tradition most closely rooted in African cultures – the Kumina religious group came originally from the Congo. JAMICA SEEMS LIKE A FUN PLACE TO GO AND MY DREAMS IS TO VISIT JAMICA MEET THE PEOPLE. Save The Jamaicans jump at any excuse to celebrate and the calendar is loaded with parties and events embracing the Caribbean culture and its people. Jamaican culture and folklore is teeming with ghosts, spirits, and duppies. Easter – Public Holiday The Carnival events include beach parties, fetes, mas camps, and a road march of bands with colourful costumes. One of the things which surely lets you know that Christmas season has Once the time period has co… Each year on the day after Christmas (Boxing Day) the Jamaican theatre opens its door to the Jamaican public to present its yearly Pantomime. In 2003, as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the establishment of Baháʼí in Jamaica, the Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Howard Cooke, proclaimed a National Baháʼí Day to be held annually on 25 July. Aug. 6 marks the island’s independence from the UK. Top image: © mauricioalvesfotos / Shutterstock, Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates. The God Yúcahu, and his mother, Goddess Atabeywere their main deities. And in the evening, be sure to catch the famous dancehall show Sting. The Jamaica Festival Song Competition | The 2020 Edition A look back at the Jamaica Festival Song Competition 2020; the selection process, the top 10 entries, and eventual winner of the competition Many of the celebrations at Independence are spearhea… Jamaicans, however, have given this form of entertainment its own Jamaican flare/flavour. Privacy Policy & Terms of use. Celebrated on Dec. 26, the day harkens back to the British tradition of giving servants a “Christmas box” and a day off to spend with their families. On Sept. 6, the festival is held in Accompong Town in celebration of the Maroons’ victory over British colonists in 1731. It’s also a time to remember people that have given of themselves and provided invaluable services during the year. The Baháʼí Faith arrived in Jamaica in 1943, brought by an American Baháʼí pioneer, Dr. Malcolm King. Jamaican Revivalism is a mix of European and African religious traditions, turned into something uniquely Jamaican. Each church holds a flag-raising ceremony in the morning. Lights are hung, trees are decorated, and church services are attended the morning of Christmas Day. The main events are typically centered around Kingston, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay. The main events are typically centered around Kingston, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay. Between … The Rough Guide to Jamaica is full of intriguing nuggets of information about the culture and history of this popular Caribbean island, but we've picked out a few of the most interesting Jamaican traditions for you below. Use this to your advantage by dropping stones and matches along as you walk along a darkened, lonely road. For a variety of reasons. Visiting Jamaica But it is also often performed simply as a form of cultural expression or purely for entertainment, with local dance companies using the traditional Jamaican Kumina dances to create spectacular shows, helping to keep this wonderful tradition alive. Use the appropriate salutation for the time of day: \"good morning\", \"good afternoon\", or \"good evening\". Traditionally, the person will be buried after the ninth night, once the celebrations have finished. Jamaican Traditions is about a people, a culture, and a lifestyle that makes the Jamaican people unique and very special! May 14, 2013 @ 8:20 pm. For the adventurous, there are also opportunities to become a participant. Carnegie, Charles V., ed. Dancers wear their Jamaican dress and perform to hypnotic drumming rhythms and chants in an attempt to ‘catch the spirit’ – it is believed that the ancestor being called will come down and possess one of the dancers. 1. 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