Jamaica Holidays 2012
The Commonwealth of Jamaica is an 11,000 square kilometer island nation located to the south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea. Its immediate neighbors are the Dominican Republic plus the state of Haiti. To the east, it borders Hispaniola. In the past, it was reffered to as “Xaymaca”. This was the Taino name given to the island by the native Arawakan speakers. The name meant ‘the land of wood and water’. This is highly true considering just how rich Jamaica is geographically. Apart from the sea, it is filled with various kinds of vegetations plus some of the best sceneries that anyone can lay their eyes on.
With a population of over 2.8 million, Jamaica has a blend of various cultures making it relatively rich in terms of cultures. Jamaica has made a mark on the world map due to a number of factors such as sports, education and above all, reggae music. It is known to be the home of reggae music with legends such as the great Bob Marley originating from the island. All these factors have made Jamaica one of the most popular tourists’ destinations in the world with millions of tourists streaming into the island on an yearly basis.
Just like in other popular tourists destinations, holidays record the highest number of tourists in the region. The Jamaican calendar is more or less the same as that of the standard calendar. However, there are some slight changes due to the various Jamaican holidays that are only celebrated in this particular region of the world. Below is a list of all the major public holidays celebrated in Jamaican; as shown in the 2012 Jamaican calendar.
- Monday the 2nd-New Year’s Day
- Wednesday the 22nd-Ash Wednesday
- Friday the 6th-Good Friday
- Monday the 9th-Easter Monday
- Wednesday the 23rd-Labour Day
- Monday the 6th-Independence Day
- Monday the 15th-National Heroes Day
- Tuesday the 25th-Christmas Day
- Wednesday the 26th-Boxing Day
This are the main public holidays according to the Jamaican calendar of 2012. Most Jamaican residents are Christians, and specifically Catholics. This is why a number of their holidays are Christian based. This includes the likes of Christmas Day, Ash Wednesday, Emancipation Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday. Another thing one should not about the Jamaican holidays is that if a holiday is on a Sunday, it is pushed on to the following Monday. A very good example is the New Year’s Day; it lands on Sunday the 1st but is celebrated on Monday the 2nd. Independence Day is basically a holiday meant to commemorate the day that Jamaica gained its independence and became a self-governing republic. National heroes day is in one way or the other related to Independence day as it is meant to celebrate all those who devoted their towards fighting for the nation’s independence. Today, the holiday has been a bit diluted as it is also used to celebrate local heroes.
On the other hand, these are not the only holidays in Jamaica. They are just but the official public holidays. Normally, there are a number of other days or even weeks that are taken to be holidays due to certain festivities. One of such festivities is the Reggae Sunsplash. This basically a festival whereby various reggae artistes, both from Jamaica and other parts of the world, get together and hold concerts in several venues in Jamaica. This year, the event will commence in mid-July and will come to an end early August. As a matter of fact, this is one of the periods when Jamaica gets to record some of the highest numbers of tourists. Another very popular musical holiday in Jamaican is during the Jamaican Jazz Festival. It is more or less like the Reggae Sunsplash but in this case, it comes a bit early and strictly deals in Jazz music. It is normally held in mid-June and goes for about a week. This year, the concerts will be held at Ocho Rios and Montego Bay with performances from some of the well known jazz artistes from all over the world. Speaking of Montego Bay; early April is normally the time for the Montego Bay Yacht Club’s Easter Regatta. This is basically whereby the Yacht club organizes sailboat races around Montego Bay. Anybody can take part in the race so long as you register in advance.
Other holiday events in Jamaica include:
- Friday the 6th-Accompong Maroon Festival
This is the celebration of St. Elizabeth for the Western Jamaican Maroons. It is characterized by a lot of traditional singing, feasts, dancing, playing of the Maroon’s drums and the traditional blowing of the ‘abeng’ which is simply the horn of a cow.
- Late January- The Jamaica Sprint Triathlon
If sports is what tickles your fancy, then this is definitely the thing for you! It is held in Negril, one of the towns in Jamaica. It is a three-part competition which includes running, cycling plus swimming all in one gruesome test.
- Early February- The Bo Marley Week
This is one week when everything is normally all about remembering the legendary Bob Marley and all his legacies. From movies to concerts; everything is about Bob Marley. Most of the events take place in Kingston; the heart of Jamaica.
- Tuesday the 6th-Bob Marley Birthday Bash
A huge concert is normally held on this particular date to celebrate the day Bob Marley was born. This time round, it was held in Montego Bay.
- Late February-Reggae Summer fest
This is the largest reggae concert annually. It comprises of all the major local reggae artistes and is held in Ocho Rios.
- Early April-The Jamaica Carnival
It normally goes for one complete week and comprises of several parades, fests and concerts.
- July to Early August-The National Dance Theater Company’s Season of Dance
The event comprises of both traditional and modern dances as well as performances from the leading artistes in the region. It takes place in Kingston.
- Late September-The Falmouth Blue Marlin Tournament
It is held at the Montego Bay and is considered to be one of the most important tournaments in Jamaica.
- Mid-October-Port Antonio International Fishing Tournament
- Early December-Motor Sports Championship Series
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