What to do if you’re in Jamaica for Christmas

by Danielle
20. December 2014

It’s that time of year again. Carols are being played over the airwaves, lights are going up here and there, and there’s this almost imperceptible coolness in the air that can only mean one thing: Christmas is on the way. While the holiday season in Jamaica doesn’t come loaded with all the glitz and glamour of other locales, the fact still remains that Christmas-time has a special place in the heart of most Jamaicans. If you happen to be here over the holiday break, here’s what you can do to get a taste of that imperceptible Christmas ‘niceness.’

Grand market
We may not be big on consumerism, but who doesn’t love an excuse to shop and splurge like a maniac? December 24 is the one day when you have the opportunity to do just that. Visit any major town or parish capital and you will see that shops stay open till the wee hours of the morning and the streets are overflowing with shoppers and vendors alike – there is hardly any space to walk. The sights, sounds and smells are truly unique and it’s something you have to experience for yourself to really appreciate. Just a word of caution: if you don’t like crowds, grand market may not be for you.

Christmas Grand Market
A rainy day in Half-Way-Tree. No matter the weather, these streets will be packed for grand market.

For all the reggae and dancehall lovers, Christmas just happens to be the time for one of the biggest dancehall shows in the world. If you’re still able to move after grand market night and Christmas dinner, and want to experience some of the biggest reggae and dancehall acts live and ablaze in their full glory, Magnum Sting should definitely be on your calendar. The show happens yearly on Boxing Day, and is famous for clashes and the general debauchery that makes dancehall music distinctive. While we don’t want to do too much free advertisement for Mr. Laing, the show’s promoter, you can read what he has to say about this year’s show here, including an all-new addition to the usual line-up.

Sorrel and fruit cake
You may already know that we love food here on this blog, so this article wouldn’t be complete without some Christmas favourites for you to savor during the yuletide season. Sorrel juice is one such staple. This deep red drink goes well with any meal, and its distinctive hibiscus taste is made even sweeter with ginger and spices. For a real sweet treat though, get a slice (or two) of Christmas cake. Made with fruits soaked in rum for sometimes up to months, it’s impossible to stop at one bite, or even one slice.

Christmas Sorrel Punch

Did we miss any of your favourite Jamaican Christmas traditions? What will you be doing for Christmas this year?


I’m most likely somewhere doing something I love. You can find me on the Internet here and here.

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