Honestly, Jamaica seems like an unusual place to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Truthfully, the island nation does not have a snowy climate or cold winds.
The land of Jamaica is a place for tourists, warm breezes, beaches, and tropical sunsets.
However, many Jamaicans are Christian believers and are fond of this special day.
They do honor the birth of Jesus Christ which is at the heart of Christmastime. Now, we shall discover how Jamaicans have their own special way of celebrating Christmas.
An Overview of Christmas in Jamaica
Christmastime in Jamaica is a huge national event.
The entire island is abuzz with activity, spirit, and festivity when the holiday season takes place.
Many Jamaicans start to decorate and prepare their homes for this holiday weeks in advance.
They celebrate it on December 25, but many people can start getting ready for Christmas as early as late November.
Christmas happens during the peak tourist season.
Tourism is important to Jamaica’s economy. As a matter of fact, it is probably the biggest industry on the island.
Since many people from around the world visit Jamaica during the Christmas season, the Jamaicans make it a point to have a festive place for them to experience.
There are small parties that take place all over the island in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
However, the island has a huge celebration known as Grand Market and it takes place on December 24. The Grand Market lasts all the way until Christmas morning the next day.
Local people and tourists can listen to festive Jamaican style Christmas music, dance, mingle, shop, eat local cuisines and just hang out.
People dress up for this event since it’s Christmas and everyone is out to have a good time.
When the party is over people will go home or usually go to church.
Tourists will typically go back to their hotel rooms to get rest or attend a church service as well.
Local Jamaicans Prepare their Homes for Christmas
People in Jamaica paint their houses, redecorate their homes and even buy new furniture for their living spaces for Christmas.
They will clean up their place in anticipation of visitors.
People in Jamaica like to have lots of parties and visit relatives and friends during the Christmas season.
So, having a clean house is very important.
Pine styled Christmas trees are not really a big thing in Jamaica. Instead, they decorate palm trees.
They make them look festive and very colorful. People will also decorate their homes with lights and even put displays outside of their homes.
Jamaicans go to Church on Christmas Day
Jamaicans will go to church on Christmas day. Services can start as early as 6 a.m. and it is not unusual to have people in the pews who are recovering from a night of partying and fun.
Still, the Jamaican people know how important it is to attend church to honor the birth of their Savior on this day.
Church services will typically last between 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. Many churches will hold services at different hours of the morning.
Christmas Gifts and Dinner
Jamaican people pass out gifts, but they don’t emphasize them like most westerners. Jamaicans are more focused on connecting with each other and sharing a good time during Christmas.
They don’t emphasize gifts because they’re not that important for this holiday.
People usually don’t compete to see who got the best presents.
Jamaicans will eat their Christmas dinners late in the afternoon or early evening hours on Christmas day.
A traditional Jamaican Christmas dinner will include curried goat, specially prepared ham, rice and peas and their national holiday drink known as sorrel.
They also serve up a special Christmas cake which is their version of a fruit cake in the west.
Christmas in Jamaica is about family, friends, socializing, partying and enjoying good company while celebrating the birth of Christ.
Learn More With the Help of Video
Main Points About Christmas in Jamaica
- Christmas is a very important to Jamaicans; it is a combination of religious and cultural celebration.
- In early December, in towns and cities, there are a buzz of festivities, preparations, and decorations.
- On the morning before Christmas, vendors gather at key locations (Grand market) within the country to sell their wares, giving people the opportunity to make last-minute purchases.
- On Christmas day, there is a traditional breakfast, after which families attend church services together.
- The time at the church is the most important part of the Jamaican Christmas day. People will wear their best to church, followed with joyous enthusiastic singing in thanks and celebration.
The main event around Christmas, except for being a peak tourist season, is the Grand Market on Christmas Eve. An exciting day and night event when people shop their last gifts and there’s music everywhere.
Children spend their allowance on candies, small toys, get their faces painted as well as a chance to sit on Santa’s lap.
These festivals with dancers, musicians and merry-go-rounds and food such as curried goat last until Christmas Day’s early morning.
If you have been to Jamaica on Christmas or stay in Jamaica then do share your first-hand experience in the comments below.
Word Cloud for Christmas in Jamaica
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Jamaica. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.