Calendar of Festivals & Special events happening in Jamaica
Jamaica has many festivals and special events throughout the year. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay during these celebrations or want to visit the island, we’ve got you covered.
The best thing about visiting Jamaica is experiencing the culture and traditions of the people. There are many festivals and special events held throughout the year.
Some include Carnival, Independence Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and others. If you are planning to attend one of these events, check out our guide to Jamaican festivals and special events.
Get set for the trip of a lifetime.
Before reading this post, we wouldn’t be shocked if you searched online for things like festivals, carnivals, cultural events, accommodations, and the things you need to prepare for a trip.
There you have it… everything you need to know about the dates and location of events before going on vacation. Hopefully, this post has answered your most pressing questions. You’re on your way to a pleasant holiday, to a sunny vacation to Jamaica.
Good to know: If you are traveling to Jamaica for your vacation, you should look at this fantastic luxury villa in Ocho Rios.
You can relax and enjoy the festivities without worrying.
Calendar of Events in Jamaica in 2022-2023
Rebel Salute in Ocho Rios is an annual event that takes place over two days in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Rebel Salute includes some of the top reggae and dancehall acts from Jamaica, and there are no alcoholic beverages available for sale.
This event occurred between January 12 and 13, 2018, and is a significant fixture in Jamaica’s entertainment calendar.
Telephone – 876-934-0827
The Accompong Maroon Festival in St. Elizabeth
– is a cultural event celebrating the freedom of the Maroons in Jamaica on January 6. The Maroons signed a peace treaty with the British in 1739, giving them space.
The Accompong Maroon Festival involves singing, dancing, cooking, and storytelling. It is the perfect place to learn about the history and contribution of the Maroons to Jamaican cultural traditions.
Telephone – 876- 352-7800 or 876-271-1694
Jamaica Sprint Triathlon, Negril.
Hundreds participate in a three-part competition joining a swimming, cycling, and running in one sweat-inducing endurance test. Contact the Jamaica Tourist Board. Late January.
Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, Montego Bay. Series of concerts at Rose Hall Great House. Tel. 876/620-7618. www.airjamaicajazzandblues.com. Late January.
Bob Marley Week Kingston– this is a week-long celebration between February 01 and 6 of the life and times of the reggae legend Bob Marley.
This event is organized by the Bob Marley Foundation and includes several commemorative events, culminating in a massive celebration on February 6, which is Bob Marley’s birthday.
Most of the activities are held at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston.
Telephone – 876-630-1588
Reggae Month Celebrations (February 1 -28)
– Jamaica is the home of reggae, and February has been designated reggae month. There are several live weekly reggae events across the Island during reggae month and a reggae village at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.
There are also lectures by top reggae scholars that take place throughout the month. If you are a lover of reggae music, February is an ideal time to visit Jamaica!
Spring Break Jamaica –
Jamaica is a premier destination for spring breakers – mostly college students escaping school for a little bit. Most spring breakers visit the resort towns of Negril and Montego Bay resort towns.
Several high-energy parties and entertainment events are hosted to suit the desires of these fun-loving, primarily young people. If you want the best spring break ever, a visit to Negril or Montego Bay in Jamaica would be perfect!
Expert tip: If you are traveling to Jamaica with family or friends. Jamaica’s all-inclusive Villa Serenity offers kid-friendly and large group accommodation options in Ocho Rios resorts.
Carnival in Jamaica – the pulsating carnival festivities come to an exciting finale in April with fetes and concerts in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, culminating in a massive road march on Carnival Sunday in Kingston, which will be April 8 in 2018.
It is an exciting time for revelers and brings Jamaicans and visitors together. This is one of the most exciting experiences available to you on the Island of Jamaica.
Contact the Jamaica Tourist Board at 876-929-9200 for more information.
Mocha Festival Negril (May 24 -29) – this is a 5-day event with interesting themed parties hosted in the charming town of Negril over the long Memorial Day weekend. The event also features celebrity entertainers, all-inclusive parties, four after-parties, and a courtesy VIP Party.
There are three host resorts – Hedonism II, Club Riu, and Coco La Palm Resort. Most parties are held at neutral venues, and passes are available for purchase to attend these parties.
The Mocha Negril Festival is a great way to spend your Memorial Day weekend in the laidback and enchanting town of Negril.
Style Week Jamaica (May 17 -20) –
Style Week is held annually in Kingston, Jamaica. It is one of the most significant fashion events in the Caribbean, visited by people worldwide.
The event features budding local designers along with some top-notch international designers. You will see some of the most glamorous fashion trends on display, and internationally renowned supermodels from Jamaica will add some flair to the event.
If you are into fashion, this is an event that You should not miss.
Telephone – 876-379 – 5859 or 876-969-9645
The Calabash International Literary Festival – this is an annual three-day Literary Festival held in Treasure Beach St. Elizabeth.
The event will be held between June 1 and 3, 2018. This is a world-class event for literary enthusiasts featuring over thirty (30) authors and musicians worldwide.
A mixture of established and new writers and performers will read or perform for enthusiastic supporters. It is an event that you should mark on your calendar if you are interested in the literary and performing arts.
Caribbean Fashion Week, Kingston. This event for fashion-savvy individuals is an extravagant affair held mainly at the National Indoor Sports Centre, plus other locations.
The Caribbean and international designers participate, as do supermodels and various celebrities. June 9 to 14.
Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. The second week in June. International performers play alongside Jamaican jazz artists; other events include barbecues. Tel. 866/649-2137 in the U.S., or 876/927-3544. www.ochoriosjazz.com.
Expert tip: If you are staying at an all-inclusive villa resort, you can call in advance to find out what items are available on the property or how far is the nearest convenience stores.
Reggae Sumfest Montego Bay (July 15 -21) – Reggae Sumfest is suitable, termed “the greatest reggae show on earth,” an internationally acclaimed reggae festival that includes an entire week of scintillating live performances.
Most of Jamaica’s best reggae and dancehall artists perform at this popular event. Sumfest has been staged nonstop for over 25 years and is a staple on the Jamaican calendar. It is a cultural experience that you will surely enjoy if you visit!
Telephone – 876-906-8723 or 876-770-2200
Montego Bay Jerk Festival (August 1) – This refreshing outdoor family-oriented event features some of the best Jamaican jerk treats, activities for children, and a live stage show at night.
There will be presentations of different jerk seasonings and meats for guests to sample and activities such as celebrity cook-offs for everyone to enjoy. This event is relaxing, fun, and a perfect place to take the family for locals and visitors.
Telephone – 876-339-4714
Dream Weekend Negril (August 2-6) – this is a 5-day high-energy, pulsating, and fun-filled experience in Negril.
The event includes daily themed parties and attracts party-goers from the length and breadth of Jamaica, along with a growing international following.
Dream Weekend is a fixture on the Negril calendar and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018! It promises to be another epic edition that you should not miss!
Telephone – 876-631-6623
Independence Day Grand Gala Celebration Kingston (August 6) – Jamaica celebrates its independence with a massive cultural event at the National Stadium in Kingston, displaying all aspects of the rich cultural heritage in Jamaica.
There are performances by traditional dance groups, appearances by some of the top artists in the country, and tributes to Jamaica’s national heroes. The Prime Minister and many other local politicians and dignitaries attend the event.
Telephone – 876-978-7654
Montego Bay Yacht Club Marlin Tournament (September 27-30) is an annual event that attracts local and international participants, all trying to catch the most prominent Marlin! It is an exciting event held over three days and is a fun-filled activity for sports fishing lovers.
Telephone – 876-979-8038
Jamaica Food and Drink Festival Kingston (October 28 – November 1) – If you want to experience culinary delights along with great spirits and live entertainment, the place to be is the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival hosted in Kingston.
It is five days of events featuring the best Jamaican food and is on par with international food festivals. It is an event that will leave you in awe of the Jamaican food and drinks.
Telephone – 876-924-6000
The Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament (last weekend in October) is an annual event involving anglers from all over the world coming to Portland and competing in exciting sports fishing events.
There are prizes for winners in different categories; for example, the person who catches the first Marlin of the day will get a price, and the person who sees the most significant Marlin among many other categories receives a fee.
There are also entertainment events on the nights for the participants to enjoy!
Jamaica Classic Montego Bay (November 17 -19) is a three-day tournament involving eight (8) college basketball teams from the United States in fierce competition. A winner will be crowned at the end of the three days of the competition.
This is set to be a fixture on the Jamaican calendar and an excellent opportunity for you to come to Jamaica and support your favorite college team!
Telephone – 336-306-6454
Reggae Marathon Negril (December 1-2) – this is a premier International Marathon that features participants worldwide. In addition to the Marathon, there is a Half Marathon and a 10K to facilitate a broader cross-section of participants. The two-day event includes an exciting party and displays of running-related art and craft products.
Expert tip: What activities to plan for your vacation? Here are some of the most exciting things to do in Ocho Rios for adults and Kids during your stay.
The Jamaican government encourages tourism to the country, which means there are plenty of accommodation options for visitors.
If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, then you’ll be happy to know that Ocho Rios is home to some of the best beaches in the world.
Insider Tip: Do you want to ensure your kids have the food and snacks they like during your vacation? Check out these incredible all-inclusive family vacation dining and any-time snacks.
You can enjoy the beautiful scenery while taking advantage of the many activities available in the area.
For example, if you’d instead get active than relax, you can take a hike at Dunn’s River Falls, go horseback riding, or try snorkeling.
There are also several museums and galleries, such as the Bob Marley Museum and the National Gallery of Jamaica.