Religion in Jamaica. One is Ol’Hige, who leaves her skin at night to go and feast on babies’ blood. I'll highlight some of the unique Christmas traditions in this alluring nation, from a local perspective below. With its specific dance moves, lively music and colourful dress it is considered by many as a true art form. It’s important to note that those that follow Rastafarianism celebrate New Year’s on Sept. 11 that correlates to the Ethiopian calendar of their spiritual homeland. Privacy Policy & Terms of use. Go tailor-made! Hypnotic drumming is performed at Kumina ceremonies to 'catch' a spirit © Jozef Klopacka / Shutterstock. As with any religion, there are of course different branches of Revivalism, but generally speaking a Revivalist ritual involves lots of singing, drumming, dancing, hand-clapping, and foot-stomping. Get guidance on how to dress, how to eat and how to address local people. 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. Rastas -- followers of the Rastafarian lifestyle -- in Jamaica also hold celebrations every year to mark Bob Marley's birthday. Top image: © mauricioalvesfotos / Shutterstock, Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates. The day is filled with reggae music, dancing, and the cuisine for which Jamaica is famous. Jamaica Carnival celebrations start during the Easter time (Resurrection Sunday in some cases). Boxing Day – Public Holiday Lights are hung, trees are decorated, and church services are attended the morning of Christmas Day. Discover Jamaica Holidays, Festivals and Traditions. 2. It is perhaps the tradition most closely rooted in African cultures – the Kumina religious group came originally from the Congo. The period leading up to the public holiday is crammed with parties and activities celebrating the island's culture. 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. 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. The food for any wedding indicates the heart and soul of the couple’s culture. Some of the wedding traditions are still followed today, while others have been discarded as people in Jamaica adopted new and modern lifestyles. Jamaican culture and folklore is teeming with ghosts, spirits, and duppies. Carnegie, Charles V., ed. Traditionally, the person will be buried after the ninth night, once the celebrations have finished. Jamaica also celebrates Christmas, Easter, Boxing Day, New Years Day, and even Chinese New Years. 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. 1) grave digging 2) funeral 3) wake yard. International Marlin Tournaments. Copyright © 2020 Apa Digital AG, all rights reserved. Many are the ghosts of real people who have died, but there are also specific ghosts that are a traditional staple of children’s bedtime stories. The lives of the Jamaicans are shaped by their religious beliefs. Obeah is a belief system that is officially outlawed, although nowadays it's rare for anyone to be convicted for adhering to the practices. The most common greeting is the handshake with direct eye contact, and a warm smile. Jamaica Carnival – Celebration Distinct African Heritage. The signing took place in Spanish Town and many go there to celebrate or by attending church. The Roots of Jamaican Culture , 1989. Christmas – Public Holiday This is known as Tun T’anks Sunday. On Boxing Day, December 26th, the National Pantomime performance of The Upsies and de Downzies Dem by the Little Theatre Movement has been an annual celebration of Jamaican culture, folklore, and history since 1941. The public holiday on May 23 celebrates the efforts of its workers. It’s a day filled with cultural events, parades, and the names are released of those that will be honored on National Heroes’ Day. 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. 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. 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). The God Yúcahu, and his mother, Goddess Atabeywere their main deities. For these people, obeah is a healing practice that is deeply spiritual and keeps them safe from harm. Use this to your advantage by dropping stones and matches along as you walk along a darkened, lonely road. Owing to the ethnic diversity in Jamaica, there are a number of religions practiced in the country. It’s also a day when individuals are encouraged to volunteer some time to better their communities by cleaning, painting and helping others. Kumina is a Jamaican religious ceremony involving music, dance, and spirit possession, and is a way of celebrating and appeasing ancestors. Jamaicans, however, have given this form of entertainment its own Jamaican flare/flavour. Accompong Maroon Festival – Celebration Holiday Traditions in Jamaica Video by Elite Jamaica 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). Everyone loves a party and those that want to get into the true Jamaican spirit may want to plan their stay during one of these major celebrations. Jamaica is known widely for its beautiful beaches and the reggae music scene, but there is much more to this Caribbean country. Afro-Caribbean Villages in Historical Perspective , 1987. 6 Jamaican Wedding Traditions You Might Not Know About. Religion goes hand in hand with Jamaican family culture, and you’ll notice as … Having arrived in Jamaica, it is impossible not to notice local culture, traditions, and Jamaican lifestyle. Although Jamaican culture is always changing, with many of the old ways of life giving way to the unstoppable march of modernisation and urbanisation, the unique Jamaican fabric is still there, and the only way to get a true sense of this is to see the island for yourself. Festivities run from early December to New Year’s Day, with non-stop parties and family gatherings. 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. The events following a death are . This holiday recognises the day slaves were given full freedom in 1838. 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. 5. Jamaica celebrates Independence on August 6 each year, in commemoration of its first Independence Day on August 6, 1962. Guests … Some examples of this can be seen in the informal money savings schemes employed by the people. In many Jamaican weddings, some traditions are similar to traditions that weddings of other cultures practice, and also some that are not. 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. 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 Once the time period has co… 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. On Sept. 6, the festival is held in Accompong Town in celebration of the Maroons’ victory over British colonists in 1731. Learn about the local culture and etiquette in Jamaica. The primary party spot is Ocean Boulevard. Labor Day – Public Holiday 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). Jamaica, Land We Love – The Jamaican National... WATCH: How To Make Jamaican Callaloo Stuffed Oven Roast Fish | Hawt Chef, WATCH: This 17-year-old Becomes The University Of Houston’s Youngest 2020 Graduate, Jamaican Ital Sweet Potato Pudding Recipe, Jamaican Rum Cream Recipe: Kerri-Ann’s Kravings, Chef Sian’s Jamaican Hardough Bread Recipe. The patriotic holiday will be celebrated on Oct. 19 in 2020. On Christmas Eve, the streets are filled with food and toy vendors that have led to it being called “Grand Market.” Singing, dancing, food and music are enjoyed well into the morning hours on Christmas Eve and gifts are exchanged over Christmas dinner. The event is also broadcast online. 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! These Jamaican celebrations have become even more marked since the reintroduction in 1997 of another public holiday on August 1, Emancipation Day. International Reggae Day – Celebration 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 the other hand, Atabeywas the Goddess of freshwater and fertilit… The celebrations provide a variety of fun-filled activities for everyone that rejoices in the season. Did you know duppies can’t count past three? The customs, traditions, beliefs and lifestyle of the Jamaican people. Jamaican Revivalism is a mix of European and African religious traditions, turned into something uniquely Jamaican. Both Port Antonio -- the birthplace of blue marlin sports fishing -- … 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. 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