The Major Cultural and Religious Festivals in Jamaica bring the locals and foreign visitors together and enable them to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Jamaica is popular for its green rain forests, beaches filled with coral reefs. The country has full of tropical fish and also green mountains. Jamaica is the birthplace of the well-known singer Bob Marley and is packed with life, passion, music, flavorful cuisine and sightseeing. Jamaica, is also known for its love of festivals and its culture, and hosts many festivals all year long.
The Major and Cultural Festivals in Jamaica are as follows:
|S.No||Month||Festival||How is it celebrated?|
|1 .||January||Accompong Maroon Festival||Celebrated with dance, singing, storytelling, and musical performances.|
|2.||January||Rebel Salute||Celebrated with a sea side party|
|3.||February||Bob Marley Week||Celebrated with music and dance party.|
|4.||February||Clarendon Seafood Festival||Celebrated with fish-eating and soup drinking competitions|
|5.||February||Jamaica African Dance Arts & Culture Festival||Celebrated with African dance, drumming, and craft workshops|
|6.||March||St. Ann Kite Festival||Celebrated with the display of kites|
|7.||March/April||Trelawny Yam Festival||Celebrated with various dishes made of Yam.|
|8.||March/April||Bacchanal Jamaica Carnival||Celebrated with live concerts|
|9.||May||Calabash International Literary Festival||Celebrated with music, and storytelling|
|10.||June||Ocho Rios Jazz Festival||Celebrated with Jamaican music|
|11.||June||Gatffest||Celebrated with the display of movies|
|12.||June||Africa Jamfest||Celebrated with music contests|
|13.||July||Reggae Sumfest||Celebrated with the performances from local and international reggae stars.|
|14.||July||Milk River Seafood and Jerk Festival||Celebrated with cakes and more festivities|
|15.||August||Montego Bay Jerk Festival||Celebrated with delicious food and musical performances|
|16.||September-October||The Jamaica Food & Drink Festival||Celebrated with signature cocktails and special cuisine|
|17.||October||Port Antonio International marlin Tournament||Celebrated with fishing tournaments|
|18.||October||Port Royal Seafood Festival||Celebrated with live music from popular Jamaican artists|
|19.||December||Liguanea Art Festival||Celebrated with the display of various arts|
Accompong Maroon Festival – To Mark the Independence
The Accompong Maroon Festival is a celebration of independence and also honoring the Maroons ‘ victory over the British. You can learn about Jamaica’s tradition and roots through dance, songs, storytelling and also music. Enjoy traditional Jamaican food while listening to the musical drumbeat all day. Visitors will see a typical march to the Kindah Tree where participants can eat unsalted pork dish with yams before starting the party.
Rebel Salute – One of the World’s Biggest Reggae Music Festivals in Jamaica
For just over 25 years now, it is one of the world’s biggest reggae music festivals at Plantation Cove. The festival starts with Reggae icon Tony Rebel; his mission is to support the country itself. The distinct feature of the festival is the Dancehall artists perform songs. This family-friendly music festival permits free entry to the kids under the age of 12. But it stops the children under the age of 18 from entering a few regions such as their ‘Herb Curb’ small enclosed space designed to provide information on the use of marijuana in various industries.
Bob Marley Week – Committed to Bob Marley
You will not skip this festival if you are a diehard fan of Bob Marley. This is completely committed to Bob Marley, where the entire country gathers and celebrates the influential reggae singer’s birthday. It is the best time to come out of your homes to visit the Bob Marley Museum or the mausoleum of Marley in Ocho Rios.
Clarendon Seafood Festival – For Sea Food Lovers
If you want to attend the annual Seafood festival in Jamaica, you need to go to Clarendon Island. Seafood lovers will appreciate it since they can have the freshest and the most tender fish varieties, crabs and lobsters. The visitors can also see energetic fish and soup drinking competitions as well. In addition to it, people can have Caribbean fruits and live music concerts during the evening.
Jamaica African Dance Arts & Culture Festival – Family – Friendly Festival in Jamaica
You can join the festival by volunteering yourself to help out during your holidays. The festival is completely family-friendly and also features workshops, African music, drumming, culture, and dance, celebrating Jamaica’s African tradition. Experience the cool sea breeze while eating Jamaican dishes since dancers perform modern, and traditional African dances. Be sure to enjoy the screening of the festival’s special film and also to buy some exclusive souvenirs from festival vendors.
St. Ann Kite Festival – Colorful Festival in Jamaica
During this family-friendly festival, the sky over St. Ann is filled with colorful kites. Enjoy the day of kites of all sizes and shapes flying through the air. A live music concert will also be there at the end of the day along with dancing, games, good food and a lot of fun for the entire family.
Trelawny Yam Festival – A Cultural Festival in Jamaica
The yams in Jamaica are given to the entire festival. It is held in the area called Cockpit State. Every year, more than 10,000 people arrive, particularly to take part in the festival. This is another favorite activity for foodies. Events like announcing a king and a queen of yam are planned. Many other things include sports-related to yam. The amazing concert show is the main highlight. It is a combination of both the best Jamaican cuisine and the best edible kinds of stuff.
Bacchanal Jamaica Carnival – A Famous Carnival
The annual carnival in Jamaica takes place in March and just a little before when many people visit the gym to get the perfect body. Colorful feathers, and sequins, are other highlights along with parties, songs, dances, and drinks, and special soca music can be heard throughout the festival. The purpose is to have fun and let the passion towards the mud and paint covered festivities of Jouvert and then the “Pretty Mas” the road march. So, everybody will be well connected to the Carnival. To attend it, the costly dresses are not a must, since most parties charge very less entrance fee.
Calabash International Literary Festival – For Authors and Poets
This world-famous literary festival takes place each year in the lovely Treasure Beach. You can enjoy music, readings and also storytelling from internationally celebrated authors and poets. You can enjoy the tasty Caribbean food while listening to the inspiring mythological and historical tales from the writers from various parts of the world. The sound of the waves forms a beautiful atmosphere to the authors as they present their unreleased newest literary works in front of the audience.
Ocho Rios Jazz Festival – Major Festivals in Jamaica
This is one of the major festivals in Jamaica, celebrated since 1991. Some people believe that the festival is about just reggae and dancehall music. It’ll be wrong because, at the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, you can enjoy a stunning and special concert display under the moon. It is a five-day event with many fun activities.
Gatffest – Film Festival in Jamaica
The Film Festival came into existence from the Greater August Town Film Project and created as an opening for graduates of the UWI Community Film Project to screen the films which were produced during their course and also as a means to enter into the festival. The event let the people screen their work with that of other native filmmakers and other filmmakers around the world. In the meantime, the festival expanded considerably, attracting numerous submissions each year, both internationally and locally, as a forum to showcase the talents of filmmakers– film directors, creators, casts and crews and features premiers, special events and panel discussions with people in tourism, academia, and the film industry.
Africa Jamfest – For International Talents
In spring, Negril hosts a four-week huge party with top DJs. The festival features competitions and an open bar. There will be a contest among the bands and at last, the best band will be crowned during the festival. The festival also sees the world-famous international talents along with various artists perform during the concerts.
Reggae Sumfest – One of the Most Popular Music Festivals in Jamaica
Reggae Sumfest is one of the most popular music festivals in Jamaica. All music lovers expect this event all year round. This takes place in the summer, especially. The festival is held in Jamaica’s Montego Bay where, on the first day, all the participants enjoy a beach party. Then, the following days, popular artists give top performances.
Milk River Seafood and Jerk Festival – Display of Notable Dishes
It consists of a smaller group of people which is on the outskirts of Jamaica. But you cannot miss its seafood and jerk festival since it offers a lot to the visitors. You can fill your plates with salt fish, juicy chicken and bananas, manioc, goat and much more. There are many notable dishes displayed over there. In addition to the delicacies, you can relax by taking thermal baths in Milk River Spa. But swimming is prohibited since the river has crocodiles.
Montego Bay Jerk Festival – The Cultural Festival in Jamaica
The Montego Bay Jerk Festival takes place outdoors. The highlight of the festival is reggae music and Jamaican food stalls. So, make sure to buy a sun hat and get a beach chair to enjoy the warm Caribbean weather. The festival also includes jerk chicken, pork, fish and lobster. The family-friendly festival is yet another Jamaican festival to celebrate the cultural heritage of Jamaica, along with delicious food and music.
The Jamaica Food & Drink Festival – World –Famous Festival in Jamaica
Kingston celebrates the world-famous Food & Drink Festival. You can have booths and each booth has a different theme where chefs only cook dishes subsequent to that category. So, you can join the locals along with the foreigners to celebrate the warm festive atmosphere and also enjoy the jerk chicken, drinks, spicy desserts, and other creative dishes.
Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament – World-famous Tournament
Fishermen from around the Caribbean, North and South America and Europe sail to catch, mark and release the largest Atlantic Blue Marlin. This world-famous tournament takes place every year. This famous fishing tournament is surrounded by an exciting atmosphere with its receptions and celebrations during the autumn season.
Port Royal Seafood Festival – National Heroes Day
Join the local people for the Port Royal Seafood Festival in October. Enjoy watching the popular chefs among local favorites while competing to make the most delicious seafood dishes. Visit a variety of colorful stalls with mouthwatering seafood dishes, including fried conch, jerk shrimps, rice and vegetables steamed fish and others. Sit on a beach chair; enjoy the sun and the diverse festival atmosphere while listening to live music by popular Jamaican musicians.
Liguanea Art Festival – Art Event of the Year
You can get a chance to meet the best-known names in the Jamaican Art World. It is the most expected ‘Art Event of the Year’. You can have the artists in photography, painting, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture and more at this festival in Kingston.
1. Which is the famous festival celebrated in Jamaica?
One of the most famous festivals in Jamaica, Carnival, features popular musical entertainments and parades. Carnival will be held on the island a week before Easter.
2. How do you make a Jamaican festival dumpling from scratch?
To prepare the dish, blend the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Pour enough water to make the dough. Make sure the dough is stiff, not sticky. Keep kneading the dough for two or three minutes and then divide them into 12 pieces. At last deep fry, all the pieces then serve hot.
3. What is the Jamaican heritage?
Jamaican culture includes the beliefs, customs, values, and lifestyles which define the people there. The Community is varied, with a culturally diverse culture, originating from the history of the primary Taino people. Previously, the Spaniards brought slavery to Jamaica.
4. How has Jamaica changed over the years?
In 1958, along with Jamaica, ten other Caribbean countries founded the West Indian Federation. In 1961, when Jamaicans voted against the West India Union, the idea of Caribbean unity was soon rejected. Jamaica was given independence on 6 August 1962.
5. What is Festival in Jamaican cooking?
The popular street food is known as the Jamaican festival. The special features are a special kind of fish that will be eaten and more varieties of spices and seasonings will be added depending on the chefs. Also, the dough is a fine blend of cornmeal and flour, which is deep-fried in oil.