New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Jamaica - Global Storybook

New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Jamaica

Richard Edwards

Richard Edwards

Richard is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Jamaica).

I was born in Jamaica and I've lived here all my life. Like all Jamaicans, I enjoy a good party. I am also a sports fanatic, and you will find me watching a cricket, soccer and basketball match at the same time!

My favorite local thing to eat is Ackee and Saltfish with dumplings, and anyone should try it.

I've traveled to every corner on Jamaica and seen everything that my wonderful Island has to offer. Hence I can't wait to share these experiences with you!
Richard Edwards

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The start of a new year is usually the time when people reflect on the past year, while making resolutions for the upcoming one.  Of course, there are also some unique ways in which the New Year’s Eve (NYE) is celebrated in different countries.  Let’s take a look at some of the exciting things that are popular in Jamaica on the New Year’s Eve.

Jamaicans go to a Church on the New Year’s Eve

One of the main things that Jamaicans do on the New Year’s Eve is attend a service at a local parish.  In fact, Jamaica has the biggest number of churches per square mile in the whole world!  And on the New Year’s Eve in particular – all of these churches will be jampacked with people.  However, in reality most people only appear in a church this one time of the year!

The church services begin at around 9pm on December 31st, and end just after midnight on January 1st.  The NYE’s night service attendance is a longstanding tradition in Jamaica.  Jamaicans firmly believe that if you welcome a new year in a church – you’ll have a blessed and productive year.

Christmas Traditions in Jamaica

New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Jamaica - Global Storybook1.5M People Watch the NYE’s Fireworks 

Another massive New Year’s Eve event, which takes place on our beautiful island are the annual fireworks on the waterfront at the Kingston’s Harbor.  This is actually one of the biggest events on the yearly calendar!  In fact, it attracts over 300,000 Jamaicans from all over the country.  It also has a local television viewership of over 1.5 million.

The event begins at approximately 2pm on December 31st.  It features a Kiddies Fun Village, which includes several rides and activities for the children.  There’s also a Vending Village, a VIP Party, and a street party which celebrates Jamaica’s rich musical traditions.  The year 2017 will have a particular significance – the city of Kingston was recently named the “Creative Music City” by UNESCO.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Jamaica - Global StorybookThere will also be fun performances by various artists representing the evolution of the Jamaican musical art form.  From ska, reggae to dancehall –  this cultural event is not to be missed!  The event will culminate with electrifying fireworks at midnight, ringing in the new year in typical Jamaican celebratory style!

Party ‘Till the Sunrise

Jamaican Rum, NYEAfter the church service and the fireworks, Jamaicans don’t go to sleep… just yet!  They move on to one of the countless New Year’s Eve parties which will be hosted across the entire island.  They will continue with the festivities into the wee hours of the morning.  And some of these events might even last until 8am!  Jamaicans firmly believe in the mantra that life is for living well, and will take every opportunity to enjoy themselves.

While Christmas Day is dedicated solely to family reunions, New Year’s Day is the time when old friends meet up and lime in typical Jamaican style.  Everyone will bring a bottle of their favorite Jamaican rum to go with the delectable traditional meals prepared by the host.   These private “link ups”, as they are known in Jamaica, are big on the New Year’s Eve calendar.

Jamaica: The Top 10 Attractions

New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Jamaica - Global StorybookWe also have New Year’s balls, usually hosted by local hotels.  This event provides Jamaicans, as well as our visitors, with an opportunity to dress up and express ourselves, while enjoying top-notch live entertainment and five-star dining.  So if you will ever have a chance – come down to Jamaica for a sizzling start of the year!

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