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How the new year is celebrated in Jamrock?


Permalink 08:05:35 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Religion, Culture, Commentary

How the new year is celebrated in Jamrock?

Throughout the world everybody has their own methods of celebrating the new year. We all know of the chinese new year which involves that parade throughout the street and the dragon costumes and fireworks. There is also the New York new years celebration which involves the dropping of that big ball in times square in addition to the thousands of people who are there to do the countdown. Here at yard we have something of a mixture of those different celebrations, most people would say that this would definitely happen because the Jamaican culture is a melting pot of all the different cultures which have helped to influence us over the years. But nontheless we still are fairly unique in our celebrations.

One similarity that i guess we share is the parties... We have lots of choices in terms of our new years parties, and the people in my age group have already purchased their party tickets to major parties like '11:59', 'Absinthe', 'French Connection' and 'Destination'. Almost all of these parties are themed parties and they almost never fail because of the vibe which we bring to these parties. In preparation of the parties there is of course the clothes to match. For the females there is that big search for a dress to wear, and coupled with the fact that alot of these parties are themed and of course women will dress to the theme this search turns out to be quite intense, adding to this the fact that the dress has to be matched by shoes and handbag etc (the life of a woman), this is not a search I would like to be a part of. Men have it somewhat easier... or well we make it easier on ourselves. Either way though there is a serious party culture in Jamaica on new years day... but thats just one type of way to bring in the new year.

new years party

The more religious among us will of course be attending the watchnight service. I have never quite understood the origin of the watchnight name but either way this is the service that starts somewhere around 10 pm and goes on until the new year and is a time for people to reflect on the new year and the choices we have made and will make and to get some religious inspiration. Most people will try to be present at these services as whether or not we like it, Jamaicans are very religious people, we may not admit it but we do have many religious fears that give us the need to ensure that we are in Gods good graces.

Finally there is the staple of new years around the world and that is the fireworks. I'll be honest Jamaica doesn't have a great culture of fireworks and these devices are actually banned from regular use, however over the years we have began to incorporate fireworks more and more in our celebrations. The most popular of these is perhaps the one down in the Kingston harbour, and is the one where I would say the most people go out to. I've watched this fireworks show a couple of times and I will be honest and say that it could use some work. There is no order to the fireworks and it seems rather plain which I guess is the result of our not being very big on the whole fireworks thing.


Me, personally my new years have always been a very personal very family and friend oriented celebration. I normally attend the watchnight service and then spend the rest of the night hanging out with my family over pizza or some other similar food. On the years when I dont do this, I normally spend it with my friends at home having a drink, reminiscing chatting and generally enjoying ourselves. To me thsi si the best kind of way to bring in the year, nothing beats family and friends in my opinion.

How do you celebrate the new year?

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."


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