Jamaica New Years Eve Traditions and Customs

How do Jamaicans celebrate New Year?

How do Jamaicans go about celebrating the coming new year? Thats is a great question and one I get asked a lot. Every country, region, town and even household have their own shared and unique ways of celebrating the coming New Year.

I found a fantastic website that had the 7 best ways that Jamaicans celebrate the new year, so, rather than me go on, I have extracted some of them and added a link to the main article so you can check it out for yourself. Jamaicans.com

Remember, if you are looking for a great place to see in the New Year 2019 then Villas Sur Mer at Negril may still have a spare room for you, please check out the main website for details.

  1. New Year Resolutions – In some respects, Jamaicans are no different from people of other nationalities. Most Jamaicans have at least one resolution they intend to keep, which is designed to improve their quality of life and health. Unfortunately, by January 15 these go out the window and only the most focused keep the promises made to themselves.
  2. ‘Watch Night’ Service – December 31 is appropriately titled ‘watch night’ as many stay up late or ‘bleach’ in order to see the start of the New Year. A huge segment of the population believes in being found in church on January 1. Church attendance is considered to be a good start to the year—even if a party or ‘session’ is the next stop after leaving church. For devout Christians, it is a chance to thank God for his provision, protection and favour in the upcoming year.
  3. Fire Crackers – Despite their illegal status, fire crackers or ‘clappas’ make their way through the ports and into the island every year. At midnight on December 31, explosions continue for five to ten minutes. Reckless adults and children put fingers and other body parts at risk of injury while lighting and throwing ‘clappas’. All animals take shelter until the barrage is over. If your clock is out of order or you fall asleep, don’t worry, when New Year’s Day hits, you’ll know from the hullabaloo in the streets.
  4. New Year’s Eve Ball – These days, finding money for a pricey New Year’s Eve ball is challenging, however, it is a sacrifice some make to treat their spouse to a wonderful evening of dinner and dancing. It is customary to show up at a club, hotel, or restaurant dressed to the ‘eye-teeth’ or in keeping with the evening’s theme. Even if you’re not in attendance, you can live the experience by peeking in on those parties covered by radio or television stations. The next best thing is to find a spot that fits into your budget and ring in a new year to remember with that special someone.
  5. Fireworks on the Harbour – This breath-taking fireworks display, put on by the Urban Development Corporation, is not to be missed. Approximately 250,000 people from far and near gather on Ocean Boulevard, downtown Kingston to watch this once-yearly spectacle. Apart from the fireworks, there’s a kids’ play area, craft village, and a stage show, featuring popular local artistes. Those who live in the surrounding areas, and can’t attend, participate by viewing the fireworks from their rooftops. The event is televised to more than one million persons in Jamaica and the diaspora. See the rest.

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