COME AND VISIT!
November 9, 2014
The Jamaica National Flag was first raised on Independence Day, August 6, 1962. It signifies the birth of our nation. The Flag brings to mind memories of past achievements and gives inspiration towards further success. It is flown on many triumphant occasions, showing the pride that Jamaicans have in their country and in the flag itself.
- English & Patois
MAJOR ETHNIC GROUPS
- About 97% of the population is of partial or total African descent. This population is comprised of blacks, mulatto, and black-East Indians or black-Chinese. Other ethnic groups include East Indians (1.3%), Chinese (0.2%), Europeans (0.2%), and other (0.6%). Nearly the whole population is native-born Jamaican.
- February 6. It has been proclaimed a national holiday, to commemorate Bob Marley’s birthday. For 4 days, music festivals are held in St-Anne (Nine-Miles), the birthplace of the singer.
- April 8. Carnival in Jamaica. Carnival fever invades the island for 9 days with parades, dancing, costume contests and a "war of bands" that shows off its best artistic expressions.
- August 6. Independence Day. On this day, a parade of floats winds its way through the streets of Kingston, representing the achievements of Jamaicans in the most diverse areas. Colorful floats, costumed groups, music trucks, classic cars and instrumental bands enliven the streets of the capital of Jamaica during this spectacular festival. Emancipation Day is celebrated the Sunday before Independence Day.
- The third Monday in October. National Heroes’ Day is celebrated, a day when the entire nation honors its 7 national heroes.
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS
- Rice is a ubiquitous ceremonial food. Along with "ground provisions" such as sweet potato, yam, and green plantains, it is used in African and East Indian ceremonies. It also is served with curried goat meat as the main food at parties, dances, weddings, and funerals. Sacrificially slaughtered animals and birds are eaten in a ritual context. Several African-religious sects use goats for sacrifice, and in Kumina, an Afro-religious practice, goat blood is mixed with rum and drunk.
- While women are often highly respected, men are seen as the heads of households. Great importance is placed on a man's virility and a woman's fertility. Men and women tend to marry or start living together at an early age. A couple that does not have children soon after marriage is considered unusual.
- Living conditions vary greatly between rich and poor. Health care is generally considered good, and the average life expectancy is seventy-six years for women and seventy-two years for men. All Jamaicans are accustomed to dealing with interruptions of electricity, mail, water, and telephone services.
Travel TV - Jamaica - Once You Go, You Know!