The island of Jamaica is alive with colour, flavour and excitement year round, both on and off the resorts. The island is known for its love of festivals and various other celebrations ranging from cultural, independence to film and literature and everything in between. It’s no surprise that Jamaica is a nation of festivals given to their laid back and enjoyable way of life, and giving rise to this, it’s easy for visitors to get involved and enjoy the festivities as well. Read ahead to learn about just a handful of the great Jamaican festivals and when they occur to help you get a good idea of the types of celebrations that happen around the country.

Bob Marley’s Birthday Bash (January 1st-6th, 2017)

Every year the island comes alive to celebrate the birthday of famed reggae artist, Bob Marley. Festivities include live music, art showcases and as much food as you can eat.

Reggae Month (February)

Somewhat self explanatory, Reggae month is an entire month dedicated to the musical heritage of the Rastafarian and overall Jamaican culture. Hosted in various locations throughout the island.

Stepping High Festival (March 5th-March 6th, 2017)

A well presented and educational but entertaining festival showcasing Rastafarian culture as well as various herbs, foods, live music and art and crafts. This is an absolute must do for visitors in the area around this time. This festival also employs regional and local farmers to use their skills for the benefit of both themselves and the larger overall festival, which generates jobs for those who may not have them otherwise.

St Ann Kite Festival (March 28th, 2017)

This is a family friendly music festival for locals and visitors of all ages and has in recent years garnered international attention. A must for visitors to the island during this time.

Ochos Rios Jazz Festival (Late May/Early June)

This well known and popular festival is perhaps one of the most renowned of its kind, hosting jazz musicians from across Jamaica as well as the larger Caribbean area. A family friendly event, suitable for all ages, the Ochos Rios Jazz Festival is a huge draw for locals and tourists alike.

Dream Weekend (July 28th – August 1st, 2017)

Dream Weekend coincides with the date of Jamaican Independence, and is a weekend full of live music and various other fun events that usually takes place in the municipality of Negril.

Merritone Musical Homecoming  (October 12th – October 17th, 2017)

The musical stylings of the Blake Clan come together for another year to celebrate the music of yesteryear and also to raise money and awareness for charity.

So there you have a quick overview of some of the hottest festivals from in and around Jamaica as well as their dates – or rough dates where no dates are yet confirmed. Jamaican festivals are always a huge hub of excitement and overall ambience and atmosphere, allowing visitors to sample local cuisines and get in with the locals a bit to really experience the great vibe the island has to offer. So get your festival hat on – Jamaica awaits.

Interested in staying with us? Contact us for information about our ocean view villa, one of the nicest Ocho Rios vacation rentals.