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Jamaica Independence Festival

El Carnaval de Ponce en Puerto Rico se distingue por la presencia de los Vejigantes con máscaras coloridas y cuernos
Ponce Carnival, Puerto Rico
El Carnaval de Campeche es uno de los carnavales más antiguos de México y el continente americano
Campeche Carnival, Mexico

 

What is the Festival of Independence?

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Jamaica’s Independence Festival is a celebration held every year during the month of August that commemorates the independence of the Caribbean country. Every year in the month of August, Jamaica dresses up to celebrate more than 50 years of independence from the United Kingdom.

The festivities are celebrated in a big way, as it not only represents the commemoration of the island’s independence but also celebrates the abolition of slavery in the country. Each year a different theme takes place, which features a wide range of activities, festivals and fairs.

 

 

The most representative events of the festival are the gala and parade that take place on the last day of the celebration. Likewise, food, crafts, art exhibitions and music, traditional dances and folklore performances are not to be missed.

Every year hundreds of thousands of people flock to the island’s capital to celebrate the country’s traditions, culture and music.

 

Jamaica's Independence Festival is a ceremony to enhance the country's traditions and culture

Jamaica’s Independence Festival is a ceremony to enhance the country’s traditions and culture

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When is the Independence Festival

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The Jamaica Independence Festival takes place from Sunday, August 1 through Friday, August 6.

 

 

History of the Independence Festival

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The Jamaica Independence Festival began in 1962 as a project of the then Minister of Community Development, Edward Seaga. The intention of the festival wasto showcase different artists in the areas of literature, fine arts and performing arts. During its beginnings it was considered an aactivity that promoted and provided spaces for Jamaicans to celebrate their art, history and culture.



Likewise, the festival used to take place in the month of August to commemorate the independence and emancipation of the country, an element that is still maintained today. The festivals have maintained its activities since its inception, developing parades, art fairs and crafts, galas and cultural activities. Later, the Festival Queens contest was integrated.

Currently, the festivals have the help of hundreds of volunteers who supervise and develop the activities in each sector. In addition, it welcomes every year locals from other sectors of the country, Jamaicans residing abroad and adjacent sister countries who join the festivities to celebrate the feeling of independence..

 

Where is the Independence Festival

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The Festival is held in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. One of the highlights during the celebration is Kingston’s National Stadium, where the gala is held on the last day of the festivities.

 

At the Jamaica Independence Festival Grand Gala the Flag is Raised

At the Jamaica Independence Festival Grand Gala the Flag is Raised

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How the Independence Festival is celebrated

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The festival is celebrated with a great variety of activities that take place during the week of celebration. Among the most important ceremonies can be mentioned the Festival Queen contest. In addition, different presentations cultural performances are held, such as dances, shows, presentations, crafts and art exhibitions.

There is also the Reggae dance championship, accompanied by gospel contests and competitions. In addition, two of the most important ceremonies take place, the gala with the military bands and the parade with the comparsas.

Finally, the parade cannot be complete withoutthe fairs and traditional food stalls and full of flavor that are characteristic of the country.

 

Tips for going to the Independence Festival

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If you wish to attend the Jamaican Independence Festival, we recommend planning your trip in advance, making an itinerary of activities and booking your accommodation well in advance.

Also, take some water and sunscreen with you, as the weather during the festival is somewhat hot.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.

 

Events at the Independence Festival

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Jamaica’s Independence Festival opens with the Carnival Queens competition at the National Stadium. This is followed by the celebration of Mello-Go-Roun’, in which a series of presentations and typical dances of the country take place.

 

 

Later, it carries out one of the most anticipated parties, the World Reggae Dance Competition with the participation of different artists of high caliber. Likewise, the Gospel Music Competition is held.

Finally, the parade through the streets of the city and the grand gala at the National Stadium are held, with the participation of different military bands and percussion.

 

Different cultural presentations take place during the Jamaican Independence Festival

Different cultural presentations take place during the Jamaican Independence Festival

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Independence Festival Parades

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Jamaica’s Independence Festival parade takes place on the last day, when theindependence of the country is commemorated. The streets are prepared to welcome with open arms the different groups that participate.

Hundreds of dancers take to the main thoroughfares, sporting their colorful costumes. Likewise, the percussion band marks the passage of the dancers, while the people in the streets dance and celebrate..

 

Parade route

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The Jamaica Independence Festival Grand Parade leaves the National Stadium and passes through the main streets

The Jamaica Independence Festival Grand Parade leaves the National Stadium and passes through the main streets

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The Grand Parade takes place on the main thoroughfares of the city.

 

Ackee and saltfish is a traditional Jamaican dish

Ackee and saltfish is a traditional Jamaican dish

 

What to eat at the Independence Festival

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One of the foods you can try during the festival is the Ackee and saltfish, it consists of a dish of cod sautéed with aki, onion and spices, served on bread or plantain. You can also try the Gizzada, a dessert similar to a spiced coconut-filled tarda.

The city of Kingston offers you some options for dining out, these are Pepperwood Jerk Center, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records and Gloria’s Rendezvous.

 

Gizzada is a national dessert of Jamaica

Gizzada is a national dessert of Jamaica

 

Travel Insurance

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From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurance. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside the Independence Festival

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Within the festival you can attend the coronation of the Queen of the festival. In addition, you can watch the different cultural activities and the dancing and singing competitions held at the Estadio Nacional. Also,you cannot miss the Gran Gala and the parade that goes around the city with the bands and comparsas.

Don’t forget to tour the grounds to find the fairs and food stalls for you to try a wide range of national dishes, desserts and drinks.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside of the Independence Festival

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Some of the tourist attractions in the city are:

 

Fort Clarence Beach

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It is one of the closest beaches to the city. In its surroundings you can find a variety of services such as restaurants, bars and craft sales.

 

Bob Marley Museum

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It is located in one of the homes of Bob Marley and within the facilities are different pieces that commemorate and tell the life of the singer.

 

Devon House

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It is one of the former residences of George Stiebel, the first millionaire of African descent from Jaima who built his fortune in Venezuela. Today it is considered a National Heritage Site.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your entrance ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety at the Independence Festival

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Kingston is a relatively safe city. However, some areas of the city are somewhat more violent and dangerous. You can walk freely during the day, but avoid going out during the night, especially if you find yourself alone. Also, we recommend the following products to keep your items safe:

 

 

Weather at the Independence Festival

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During the festivities, the city boasts hot weather, with temperatures hovering around 33 degrees Celsius. Be sure to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen every half hour if you don’t have an umbrella.

 

Dance performances take place during the Independence Festival in Jamaica

Dance performances take place during the Independence Festival in Jamaica

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How to get to the Independence Festival

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How to get there by plane

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The city of Kingston has its own airport, Norman Manley International Airport, which receives a large number of international flights. Once you are here, you can use the different means of transport to get to the city center.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by bus

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From the airport take a bus of the Knutsford Express Company. The journey takes 45 minutes.

 

How to get there by car

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From the airport you can take a cab to the city center. The journey time is 20 minutes.

 

Where to stay at the Independence Festival

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Booking.com

 

The Liguanea Club

3 star hotel 3.9 km from the center. Rooms have air conditioning, cable TV and bathroom. Facilities include swimming pool, restaurant, bar, wifi and free parking.

 

R Hotel Kingston

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4-star hotel 4.3 km from the city center. Rooms have TV, air conditioning and private bathrooms. Also, the hotel offers swimming pool, restaurant, bar, wifi and free parking.

 

Spanish Court Hotel

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5-star hotel 4.2 km from the city center. Rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV and private bathrooms. The hotel has a swimming pool, bar, restaurant, wifi and free parking.

We recommend you use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.



 

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