Jamaica celebrates her 60th year of independence from British rule on August 6, 2022.
The Diamond Jubilee for any nation is a great time for fun and festivities, and the culture-rich country of Jamaica will not be outdone in making this a time to remember. Wherever you are in the world, don’t miss out on the opportunity to join in the ‘bashment.’ Gear up and sing national songs, cook and eat traditional dishes and, of course, beat the occasional dutch pot in solidarity with ‘yaadies’ on the island to commemorate this most victorious day!
If you’re abroad, there are a few fundamental Jamaican things you will need to celebrate Jamaica 60 like you’re back home! See if you have checked all ten of these items off your list:
Black, Green, and Gold Everything!
Famous for being one of two flags globally that don’t share all its colors with any other national flag, the Jamaican flag may be one of the most recognized symbols in the Caribbean. The iconic gold diagonal cross that divides the field into four triangles of green (top and bottom) and black (hoist side and fly side) are synonymous with “home” for every Jamaican. The nation first raised this epochal flag at Independence Park (The National Stadium) on August 6, 1996, and would keep doing so every year for the last six decades.
In 1996, authorities defined the colors - black represents the strength and creativity of Jamaicans, which has allowed them to overcome difficulties; gold means the wealth of Jamaica and the golden sunshine; and green for the island’s lush vegetation and hope for the future.
Jamaica and reggae go hand in hand. You won’t find one without the other. Greats like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, and others continue to keep people rocking and grooving as they listen to the most famous music genre coming out of the island since Independence. Today, you won’t find many Jamaican households without reggae music or merchandise showing off the iconic red, green, and gold. If you’re looking for a creative way to enjoy reggae music like back home during Jamaica 60, wear your most fashionable ‘One Love’ outfits while jamming to some hits.
Jamaican Arts and Crafts
All 14 Jamaican parishes teem with creativity and artists crafting unique pieces that reflect the beauty and prowess of the island. Locally made arts and crafts are perfect for jubilating Jamaica 60. Deck your home with items like one-of-a-kind canvas art frames, handmade Jamaican cushion covers, engraved wooden kitchen sets like coasters and cutting boards, or ceramics painted in Jamaican colors. These unique pieces will quickly transport the island's spirit to your home.
Jamaica has more than 100 beaches across its coast, and every year droves of people head out to the shores to enjoy the warm sand, the sounds of crashing waves, and good vibes with friends and family on Independence Day. Jamaica 60 is no different! But if you can’t take a trip to enjoy the beach in person, you can bring the tropics to you with scented candles and spa treatment. Soothing moisturizers like Skinssence Naturals Beach Breeze Body Butters or unique home scents like Beryl Blossom Oracabessa Coconut & Soy Wax Candle are perfect for bringing the aroma of the beach to your home. And if you’re heading to the beach where you live, you can still bring Jamaican vibes with you with a 'One Bag Ah Beach Tings' Tote from TCP TINGS LIMITED.
A classic celebratory sound in Jamaica is the clanging of dutch pots. Every major sporting event, New Year’s celebration, or Independence Day parade is accompanied by the not-so-soothing but so invigorating ‘pesheng weng weng weng’ of the Jamaican dutch pot (IYKYK). Beyond using them as crashing cymbals, dutch pots are also iconic for cooking Jamaican dishes like curried goat, rice and peas, oxtails, or baking potato puddings over coal stoves. You simply can’t have a Jamaica 60 party without one!
Keep the fun going all day with Jamaican games that test your knowledge of the country, its culture, and your friendships - you know what we mean if you have ever gotten ‘six love’ or ‘heaven-less.’ Playing classic games like Ludi and dominoes remind you of time spent with family, drinking Red Stripe beers, rolling dice, and slamming down domino tiles in victory! For Jamaica 60, you can do the same. You can even try new and exciting Jamaican trivia games to test just how much you know about yaad.
Jamaican Breakfast Dishes
Jamaican Breakfast Dishes Of course, we can’t forget the food. Independence Day breakfast is always a crowd favorite. When the family ‘chefs’ wake up early in the morning to whip up dozens of fried dumplings (Johnny Cakes), fry both ripe and green plantains, make authentic cocoa from scratch, and finish the spread with a big pot of either ackee and saltfish or callaloo and saltfish, you know the rest of the day will be exciting. Ackee and saltfish is Jamaica’s national dish and highlights the history of the country’s people. The ackee fruit is the national fruit of Jamaica and was imported to the Caribbean from Ghana before 1725 as 'Ackee' or 'Aki.' Both ackee and salt cod were staple foods among enslaved Africans. Today, when done right, buttery ackee stewed with onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and other spices and paired with saltfish make for a delicious Jamaica 60 celebration dish.
Chicken, pork, fish, lamb, shrimp, jackfruit, anything really with jerk seasoning and sauce is going to be fire! As one of Jamaica’s most popular cooking styles and flavors, jerk is an Independence Day staple! For Jamaica 60, crank up your grill and pre-heat your oven to cook and devour jerk meats, seafood, or meat substitutes (for the vegan yaadies). Simple ingredients like scallions, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, thyme, allspice, black pepper, pimento, and garlic create an intoxicatingly complex flavor combination that, when done right, will transport you to Portland’s famous Boston Beach in minutes. Enjoy the jerk flavor without taking a flight to the island with Jamaica’s most exquisite sauces, and seasonings formulated, tested, and tried by the best in the business.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
It’s not the best coffee in the world by accident. Jamaica’s coveted Blue Mountain Coffee helps to put this small island on the map! What better way to celebrate Jamaica 60 than with its most precious commodity? Whether you like your coffee hot, iced, or with a bit of ‘courage,’ Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee should be your go-to blend to enjoy your cup of Joe on Jamaica 60.
Jamaica's number one snack food, hands down, is patties. Said to be a derivative of the Cornish pasty, this simple yet sublime savory snack is a crescent-shaped pastry filled with meats or vegetables enveloped in a flaky crust colored with turmeric or curry. Honoring Jamaica’s 60th anniversary with a hot patty straight from the island is a no-brainer - of course, you’ll have to reheat it, but you get the point. The island’s bakeries make at least 300,000 patties daily for thousands of hungry Jamaicans on the Rock and those living abroad. You can be among those when you order patties through caribshopper.com.
Celebrating Jamaica 60 from abroad can be just as fun and patriotic if you have the right stuff to honor your heritage and culture. Is your checklist complete? If not, order what you need now in time for Independence Day when you shop at caribshopper.com, the Jamaica Tourist Board retail partner for Jamaica 60.