Travel & Tourism

December, 16, 2005 - 12:27 PM / ET

A New Breeze is Sweeping thru Jamaica
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Kingston, Jamaica--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--December 16, 2005--In Jamaica the breeze has shifted, the sugarcane plume is on a rise, the housewives have hung new curtains and the poinsettias are blooming. There is no denying the holidays have arrived.

The holiday season in Jamaica is the most festive time of the year. Among Jamaica's most renowned celebrations of the holidays are Grand Market and Jonkonnu. Jonkonnu is a traditional Christmas celebration in which revellers parade through the streets dressed in colorful masquerade and the Grand Market is a community fair characterized by food, street dancing, crafts and music.

Holiday and Christmas celebrations have developed with both American and European influences and include strong religious overtones while still maintaining Jamaican’s unique culture at heart. For example Christmas carols in Jamaica are based on some of the more popular songs as in other nations, however they are often found sung in Reggae.

What holiday season can be complete without a home-cooked meal? Cooking rice and gungo peas, chicken, oxtail, curry goat and roast ham is a Jamaican tradition. Some of the more island based foods, such as the Gungo peas, are not enjoyed until the month of December when they have ripened, making it an exclusively unique holiday speciality for Jamaica. In addition, Jamaicans enjoy celebrating the season by baking, never forgetting to include their “holiday cheer” also known as white rum. The drink of choice for Jamaicans during the season is sorrel that is derived from the red fruit of this plant and is then made into a sweetened, red-coloured drink spiced with ginger, cloves, and pimento and splashed with a little “holiday cheer.”