Christmas In Jamaica

Christmas is a hugely festive time in Jamaica – a time everybody joins in with the non-stop celebrations, however varied they may be. And although the island has never seen snow, that doesn’t mean Santa Claus is absent! He’s present in many of the celebrations, parties or events just as much as Silent Night (although the probability is, that will be a reggae version you’ll be hearing).

Jonkanoo (or John Canoe) is a traditional celebration, where people revel through the streets, all wearing colourful masquerade costumes ranging from cow heads to policemen, brides, devils and even a ‘house head’ (an image of a great house carried on the head of the reveller)!

This parade and its associated characters traces its history back to the African slaves, and although not as popular in the cities as it may once have been, Jonkanoo is still a tradition in rural Jamaica.

There’s also a Grand Market – a community fair with street food, dancing, crafts and music. They sell all the usual mix of useful, decorative and unusual things from firecrackers to food.

Drink Plays A Major Part Too!

And don’t forget the drink!  Found everywhere at this time of year, Sorrel is made from dried sorrel (a meadow plant), cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar, orange peel, and rum, served over ice. It’s strong and full of flavour, and goes down a treat!

If you’re not enjoying Christmas in Jamaica, it’s easy to create the same atmosphere with a little preparation. Island Delight has a huge range of patties in a variety of flavours, with either shortcrust or flaky pastry. Invite over some family or friends, lay out some different flavours for them to try (they will love them – so authentic!). Serve them a few drinks (you can find a recipe for Sorrel online) – and it’s all sorted. All that remains is for us to wish you a very happy (and flavoursome) Christmas from all at Island Delight.