In Jamaica, Christmas is a time that people look forward to; the young and the old, even the ones that ‘say’ they aren’t looking forward to it. ‘Spring’ cleaning happens again in December. The house and yard gets a facelift and people are generally happier at this time of the year. ‘Yuh house affi look good fi di new year!’
‘Peppa light’ affi string out roun di house and pon 2 likkle tree inna di yaad!
Between the 24th and the 25th some places have them big night: Grand Market!
Grand Market is a time when hustlers come out and mark their spots hours in advance for the night and camp out before the crowd even begins to form, cause y? Money affi mek dis Christmas! Then as the night progresses, the crowd comes out and they stay till the next morning; from age 0 to as far up as they can manage, just walking, buying, eating, drinking, vibing, dancing, anything-ing! POI: Don’t ever go to one of these things alone…thats a punk move! You must have friends you can vibe with. Its all about the company.
There are a million and one (exaggerating a bit) sound systems set up on the streets, blasting overlapping music so there is never a dull moment of silence. Where I’m from on the north cost of Jamaica, the 24th is our night and this year was a good n propa RANDOM friends link up in the town. I think this is the one time of the year you can mix liquor in the middle of the road and not get in any issues with the po-po!
Christmas day is the day when you know that nobody is getting out of bed early, after all they all just went to bed before or at daybreak! (if they weren’t at grand market, they went to candle light service at a church). Once ppl start stirring you know its time to get a quick bite for breakfast/lunch and then dive right into preparing Christmas dinner and you better not be nursing a hangover! Cho! Christmas dinner is usually ready by the afternoon and the family gets together to enjoy the meal. The size of the meal depends on several things but its always nicer than the average dinner you get for the other 364 days in the year.
- Some good up good up sorrel wid Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum or Red Label Wine!
- Christmas Fruit Cake!
- A glass or two of Bailey’s or Sangster’s Rum Cream!
- 40 cup (per person) of Manish Water! (boss)
- Dinner at one house then dinner at granny’s!
- Belly full and food set for the next day! (I’m gonna stop now, I’m hungry)
Christmas Day is the day centred around family and for the people that have their Grand Market on that night…well thats what they do!
Boxing Day is the day after Christmas where anything goes. Most families have established traditions on how they would spend their December 26s. Its a day of chilling, hanging out and having a good time with whomever, wherever! Based on where my immediate family lives, Boxing day is always, without fail, spent with my father’s side of the family in Ocho Rios. Every year, all of us travel from all over JA and assemble there to spend the day with each other, those who can make it from abroad do so in turns. My family is so large that every year I meet a new set of cousins (and I don’t mean those born since the last get together).
The next day its back to reality unless you are a student or teacher and you got an extra long break that lasts into January.