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Jamaica - Opening Hours, Festivals And Holidays


   Jamaican business hours are normally 8.30am to 4.30/5pm Monday to Saturday, although some shops and offices close at noon on Saturdays. Sunday trading is rare. Museums normally close for one day a week, either Sunday or Monday, while most other places you'll want to visit are generally open daily.

   Most of Jamaica's special events are timed to coincide with the winter tourist season. The main exceptions are Montego Bay's Reggae Sumfest in August and Spring Break , when young Americans take over the big resorts for a fortnight of raucous, beer-fuelled cavorting. April is Carnival time - though not on the same scale as Trinidad's, Jamaica's Carnival is a growing event. Emancipation Day and Independence Day celebrations - concerts, dance and theatre performances, and parades - are held in late July to early August; contact the Jamaica Tourist Board for details. The JTB's annual calendar of events is available from offices on the island and abroad, and is posted on the JTB website, .

Public holidays

January 1 New Year's Day

February Ash Wednesday

March/April Good Friday, Easter Monday

May 23 Labour Day

August 1 Emancipation Day

First Monday in August Independence Day

Third Monday in October National Heroes Day

December 25 Christmas Day

December 26 Boxing Day

Festival And Events in Jamaica

All Jamaicans enjoy a festival and the island has a number of colourful eventsthroughout each year in which visitors are encouraged to participate.

Calendar of Events

Month Event
January Jamaicas Carnival starts with the first of a long series of events on New Years Day in Kingston. Carnival culminates in May.
February Celebrating Bob Marley, a weeks worth of celebration of Bob Marleys life and work organised by the Bob Marley Foundation.
  Every other year, the Pineapple Montego Bay Yacht Race takes place. Yachts race from Florida to Montego Bay.
March Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant Carnival continues, mainly in Kingston.
April Montego Bay Yacht Clubs Easter Regatta Carnival continues with events in Kingston and Chukka Cove near Ocho Rios.
May Carnival culminates with parades in Portland and Montego Bay.
June Ocho Rios Jazz Festival international and home grown artistes perform at venues in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Kingston.
  Portland Jerk Festival includes dance groups and craft displays accompanying jerk tastings.
July Jamaica Spice Food Festival traditional and contemporary Jamaican fare is offered at venues around Ocho Rios.
  Reggae Sunfest this is the islands major reggae festival lasting 5 days in Montego Bay.
August Jamaican Independence Day Parade formal parades in Kingston with marching and police bands.
September Montego Bay Yacht Club Marlin Tournament.
October Columbus Annual Regatta Puerto Seco Beach.
  All That Heritage and Jazz Festival held in Montego Bay with food, folk culture and musical entertainment provided.
  Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament.
December Reggae Superjam top reggae artists performing.

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