Today Jamaica celebrates 52 years of independence from British Colonial rule. On August 6th, 1962 the British flag was lowered and the Jamaican flag was unraveled for the first time. Today in Jamaica they will commemorate this historic movement as one of the most significant events in the nations history.
Independence Day in Jamaica is celebrated each year by honoring the fallen heroes who have served on behalf of the country, and by indulging in lively entertainment i.e. music, dance and parades filled with people decked out in ethnic costumes.
Today we will answer a few common questions people may have about the Independence of one of our favorite countries.
What is the significance of Independence Day of Jamaica?
Christopher Columbus sighted Jamaica in 1494 and by 1509 Spanish colonists occupied the country. Then in 1670, the Spaniards gave up their control to the British Monarchy. Throughout the 1700s Jamaica saw an economic boom as it was the largest producer of sugar in the world. The flourishing economy however led to the growth of slavery and other political evils that would awaken nationalistic sentiments.
Throughout the 1930s and early 40s Jamaica was home to two primary political parties, the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party. In 1944 they held their first ever elections, won by the JLP. In 1958 Jamaica joined the Federation of the West Indies but withdrew in 1961.
Finally on August 6th 1962 Jamaica achieved its freedom from British Colonial Rule.
What does the Jamaican Flag represent?
Jamaica adopted its flag the day it won independence. It consists of diagonal lines which divide the flag into four triangles. The flag has “Pan-African” colors which commemorates Jamaica’s African roots. Green is the symbol of hope and agricultural growth, yellow represents natural resources and sunshine, while black celebrates the creativity and courage of the Jamaican people.
Jamaicans and expats celebrate the holiday as early as the week before the big day, cooking big meals, gathering with family and dancing in street carnivals. If you’re in Jamaica this week, be sure to go out and celebrate with the locals, they’ll show you a good time.
One Love and always remember, Out of Many, We are One.
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