Jamaica Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Jamaica: Holidays, Events, and Climate

Public holidays

There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the time of Easter. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Lent, which lasts 46 days, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
February March Ash Wednesday
March April Easter (Good Friday and Easter Monday)
May 22 Labor Day
August 1 Liberation Day (from slavery)
6th of August Independence day
3rd Monday in October National Heroes Day
25./26. December Christmas

Source: Countryaah – Jamaica Holidays

Cultural events

The residents of Jamaica come from almost all parts of the world, so after the end of the colonial era, a very varied cultural scene developed on the island. The most obvious are the African influences. From the originally religious musical traditions of the slaves, the music styles Mento, Ska and Reggae developed, the latter achieved worldwide fame. The following cultural events take place every year in Jamaica:

Date Event
January Accompong Maroon Festival in Montego BayRebel Salute on the South Coast

Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in Montego Bay

February Negril Fat Tire Festival (Good Hope, Negril Hills) in NegrilA FiWi Sinting (African cultural festival) in Port Antonio
February March April Kingston Carnival
April Trelawny Yam Festival at the South TrelawnyEaster Regatta in Montego Bay
June Rios Jazz Festival in Ocho Rios
July 1 International Reggae Day in Kingston
July Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay
July August Bath Bread Fruit Festival
September u. October Caribbean Music Expo in Ocho Rios
November Jamaican Film and Music Festival in Montego Bay

Sporting events

Jamaica offers ideal conditions for surfing, windsurfing and water skiing. Crystal clear water, coral reefs, underwater caves and shipwrecks are also a paradise for divers.

Every year in September there is an international fishing competition in Port Antonio.

From January to August, Jamaica’s cricket season is also the national sport of the country. Football is also very popular. And year round polo tournaments are held in Kingston and Ochos Rios. Horse racing is a regular feature of the Caymanas Racecourse in Kingston.

General notice

In Jamaica, the human rights situation of homosexuals is problematic; over 30 homosexual Jamaicans have been murdered in the last five years.


Jamaica is located in the tropics and is surrounded by the sea. The climate is characterized by the northeast trade wind and is therefore hot and humid all year round with little temperature differences. The rainy seasons are in May and from July to October, with the amount of precipitation varying depending on the altitude, most of which fall in the north of the island. In the months of May to November, hurricanes can be expected, which can wreak havoc.

Travel times

The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who want to spend a pure beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role. People who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause problems are particularly recommended for a stay in Jamaica from December to April. People who prefer a more moderate climate and lower temperatures should better avoid a stay in Jamaica.

Climate table

The following table shows climate data for Jamaica. It should be noted that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ from each other and therefore also from the values shown. In addition, the monthly temperature averages have little informative value with regard to the minimum or maximum temperatures. It is possible that at average temperatures of around 20 ° C maximum values of 30 °C or more occur. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in Jamaica.

Month usual number of rainy days Usual maximum temperatures in (°C) usual minimum temperatures in (°C)
January 02-03 30-31 19-20
February 02-03 30-31 19-20
March 01-02 30-31 20-21
April 02-03 31-32 21-22
May 03-04 31-32 23-24
June 05-06 32-33 23-24
July 04-05 32-33 23-24
August 07-08 32-33 23-24
September 06-07 32-33 23-24
October 08-09 31-32 23-24
November 05-06 31-32 22-23
December 03-04 31-32 21-22

Sightseeing in Jamaica

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Blue and John Crow Mountains

The Blue Mountains are the highest mountain range in Jamaica with mountains of over 2,200 m.

The highest mountain in the mountain range – and of Jamaica – is the Blue Mountain Peak with a height of 2,256 m. An ascent during the night enables the view of an almost unique sunrise early in the morning.

Together with the adjacent John Crow Mountains, the Blue Mountains form the largest national park in Jamaica, which, with an area of around 2,110 km², takes up about one fifth of the island’s total area of 10,991 km².

A large number of endemic plant species can be found in the Blue Mountains, including rare tree species, mosses, ferns, bromeliads and orchids – as well as many bird, mammal and amphibian species, some of which are threatened worldwide.

Part of the area of the Blue Mountains is used at altitudes between 900 and 1,700 m for the cultivation of a valuable type of coffee called “Blue Mountain Coffee”. In addition, the region is closely linked to the Maroons’ struggle for freedom against slavery, who organized their resistance against the British colonial power here. Maroons are slaves and their descendants who had fled the plantations on the West Indies and in Central, South and North America.

The Blue and John Crow Mountains were added to the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage List in 2015.

Major cities in the country


Kingston has about 650,000 residents and is the largest city in Jamaica and its capital. The city is located in the southeast of the country. Examples of British colonial architecture from the 18th century stand next to modern commercial buildings in the country’s capital. The largest natural harbor in the Caribbean is also located here.

Spanish Town

Spanish Town has around 100,000 residents, making it the second largest city in the country. The city was founded by Diego Columbus in 1534 and was the capital of Jamaica from 1535 to 1872 under the name Santiago de la Vega. In addition to the Saint Catherine’s Cathedral, the English colonial buildings from the 18th century are particularly worth seeing.

Port Antonio

Port Antonia has about 15,000 residents and is located in the northeast of the country on the Caribbean coast. The city was founded in the 16th century. There are numerous magnificent villas here. Not far from the city is the blue lagoon.

Montego Bay

Montego Bay has about 85,000 residents and is located in the northwest of the country on the Caribbean coast. Although founded in 1492, it is one of the most modern cities in the Caribbean. The holiday bay of the same name with its three beaches and the coral reef is one of the most famous in the world.

Special buildings

Old House of Assembly in Spanish Town

The former governor’s residence was built between 1759 and 1764. King’s House The former residence of the governor in Spanish Town was built between 1759 and 1764 and is an impressive colonial building. Jamaica House The Jamaica House in Kingston is the administrative seat of the Jamaican Prime Minister.

Museums and galleries

National Gallery of Arts, Kingston

You can see a colorful collection of modern art.

Port Royal in Kingston

The museum at the tip of the port peninsula is dedicated to the time of pirate rule.

White Marl Arawak Museum in Kingston

The collection shows objects from the culture of the indigenous people of Jamaica, the Arawak Indians.

Bob Marley Museum

The Bob Marley Museum in Uptown-Kingston is housed in the musician’s former home and represents the achievements of his life.


Ward Theater

The theater opened in 1911 in Kingston near William Grant Park.

Centerstage Theater

This theater is located in Montego Bay.


Saint Catherine´s Cathedral in Spanish Town

This is the oldest church in the West Indies.

Kingston Parish Church

This church in Kingston was destroyed by an earthquake but rebuilt in 1911.

Important universities

Northern Caribbean University

The Northern Caribbean University was founded in 1907. The university does not have a central campus. The university has offices in Mandeville. Kingston, Montego Bay, Runaway Bay. Approximately 5,500 students are currently studying at this university. University of the West Indies Jamaica is one of the sponsors of the University of the West Indies. This university is a network of several universities, with different institutes spread across the West Indies. There are 3 main institutions in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.


Participating states at the University of the West Indies are:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Cayman Islands
  • Montserrat
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands


Columbus Park in Discovery Bay

Hope Botanical Gardens in Kingston

Among the many exotic plant species are many beautiful orchids.

Shaw Park Botanical Gardens in Ochos Rios

Natural beauties

Blue Mountains-John Crow National Park

The national park is located around the Blue Mountain Peak, the highest mountain in the country.

Dunns River Falls near Ochos Rios

The approx. 200 m high waterfall pours over numerous steps into a bay.

Somerset Falls of the Rio Grande

Fern Gully

More than half of the 500 species of ferns on the island grow in the 5 km long gorge.

Runaway Caves

On the underground lake of the Green Cave, boat trips are offered at a depth of 35 m.

Blue Lagoon near Port Antonio

The crystal clear bay with its fresh water source is one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean.

Sunny Island

The small island off the coast of Treasure Beach is a popular excursion destination. It emerged over time from deposited shell limestone and is surrounded by a coral reef that is ideal for diving.

Milk River Baths near Mandeville

The waters of these medicinal mineral springs reach temperatures of up to 32 ° C.

Lovers Leap in the Santa Cruz Mountains

The steep slope with its 180 m height is downright dizzying.

Rockland Feeding Station

Rare bird species such as B. the mango hummingbird, the orange quit and the doctor bird, the national bird of the country, can be observed.

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