"The Jamaican Coffee Festival is held annually each fall in Kingston to celebrate the rich, agricultural tradition of coffee in Jamaica. Java lovers will find themselves on a caffeine high like no other as farmers and merchants provide visitors with free samples of a wide array of coffees, hot beverages, and other related foods.
Heritage Fest, also held each fall, is an annual festival in Kingston that celebrates and uses food, dance and music to explore the diversity of Jamaica's population. From Indian curry to Lebanese dancing to
Chinese fortune telling, Heritage Fest pays homage to all of the diverse ethnicities found in Jamaica.
The Accompong Maroon Festival takes place each year on Jan. 6, the birthday of Captain Cudjoe who defeated the English army. The festival celebrates the Maroons, featuring traditional dancing and singing, a fantastic feast, and the blowing of the Abeng horn and playing of the Maroon war drums. The Accompong celebrates a fun and exciting aspect of the cultural and historical heritage of Jamaica.
One of the most renowned Caribbean festivals, Carnival, spreads across the entire island in one huge party, featuring popular musical entertainment as well as parades. Carnival is held all over the island in the week before Easter and is one of the island's most popular festivals."
"Heineken Startime takes place each winter in Kingston, Jamaica and promises to be the most significant musical event of the season. The concert features one of the strongest line-ups in each area of Jamaican music, from ska to rock steady to hip hop, and, of course, reggae.
The Rebel Salute Music Festival, also in Kingston, has been held in January for the past 12 years. The festival highlights cultural roots music and focuses more on the folk tradition than other shows. Don't expect any less of a crowd, though, as patrons of this event include locals as well as international guests who show up each year for this amazing concert.
The Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is usually held early in the year at a different location. This amazing festival features a diverse range of musical genres but pulls all their influences toward the blues and jazz lover. From African to Cuban and reggae, this festival gives a great international flavor to the age-old tradition of jazz and blues.
International Reggae Day is a blowout musical festival in Jamaica. Usually celebrated in July, this festival hosts not only musical talent shows, but a talent search, workshops and a lecture on the life of reggae icon, Bob Marley. This concert is broadcast live all over the world via satellite television and the Internet.
Reggae Sumfest is another weeklong music festival. It takes place the first week in August each year in Montego Bay. The best in reggae are brought together for a week of sonic celebration. Visitors can purchase tickets for just one night of partying or can spend a little more and get weekend passes or a pass for the whole week. Some tickets even include backstage passes. Without a doubt, Reggae Sumfest is a great way to enjoy a week of music."
"The National Festival of the Arts runs through the summer, beginning early on and ending on Jamaican Independence Day. Aside from sales of arts and crafts, local competitions showcase the work of indigenous artists in dance, song, drama, speech, painting, sculpture, crafts, culinary arts, and photography, to name just a few! The wide variety of artistic media makes this festival a sure hit.
Jamaica is also home to two of the largest fishing tournaments that run in September and October each year. The Falmouth Blue Marlin Tournament and Port Antonio International Fishing Tournament are popular, and the Port Antonio Tournament is one of the most prestigious in the Caribbean.
Whatever your interest, be it art, music, or just a great party atmosphere, one thing is certain: locals know how to turn events and culture into something spectacular and memorable--a special occasion with the distinct feel of Jamaica that you won't want to miss."
Jonkanoo, called Junkanoo on other Caribbean islands, is Jamaica's Christmas celebration. Party-goers dressed in masquerade parade through streets in celebration of their West African and slave heritage.