EIP Around the World - Jamaica

To mark the festive season, we spoke to our EIP colleagues who has international background or connection and asked how they celebrate the festivity in their home countries.

Christmas in Jamaica by Alex Morgan, Managing Associate, Solicitor

Q. When is your Christmas?

Christmas is celebrated on 25th December and Boxing Day is 26th December (just like in the UK). Celebrations might start on Christmas Eve (24th December) and culminate with a big dinner on Christmas Day (maybe after going to church in the morning).

Q. Are there any special Christmas dishes or food people eat?

Ham (often tinned, sometimes with pineapple and candied cherries (glacé cherries) stuck to it) usually gets rolled out at Christmas time. Baked chicken, curried goat, oxtail or fish may also appear as part of the Christmas spread, along with rice and (gungo) peas. ‘Christmas cake’, which is a spiced fruit cake normally laced with rum, also features. Sorrel (with ginger and sometimes rum) is the drink that everyone drinks at Christmas time; while some people go in for egg nog.

Q. Are there any particular traditions?

People exchange gifts and many go to church on Christmas morning, even if they never go at any other time!

Q. And Music?

Jamaica has our own Christmas songs and they are the most popular ones.

Q. Anything else?

Santa Claus and Christmas trees do appear, but on a much smaller scale compared to the UK.

Seeing that most houses don’t have fireplaces or chimneys, the idea of a man coming down one in a big red coat, woolly hat and furry boots requires extra imagination! That said, there is a song about Santa getting stuck in a mango tree. :)