Jamaica Events

Jamaica hosts a full calendar of musical, artistic, cultural and sporting events. Reggae Sunsplash and Reggae Sumfest are the biggest funfests on the island, held about one week apart in July/August. Sunsplash is held near Ocho Rios, Sumfest in Montego Bay. Both are frenetic beachy music festivals, with A-rated fun and X-rated dancing. Carnival, the week after Easter in March/April, takes place on the university campus in Kingston and at various other places around Jamaica. It's a big blow-out, mainly for Jamaicans, with reggae, calypso and dancehall soca the main booty-shakers, but it's also a tourist attraction in its own right. In June, the top names in jazz perform under the stars at the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival. Jonkanoo is a traditional Christmas celebration in which revellers parade through the streets dressed in masquerade. The festivity has its origins among West African secret societies and was once the major celebration on the slave calendar. At New Year's, check out Fireworks on the Waterfront in Kingston.


There are a number of yacht races on the calendar: the Pineapple Cup, held each February, starts in Miami and finishes in Montego Bay. Cricket matches are held from laneway to lawn throughout the year. In April, the West Indies team takes on an international challenger in the Kingston Test Match.


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