How to Celebrate Jamaican Independence Day in London
Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green, hope and agricultural resources.
“The sun shineth, the land is green, and the people are strong and creative” is the symbolism of the colours of the flag.
The Jamaican national flag was first raised on Independence Day, August 6, 1962. On this day Jamaica gained its full independence. It signifies the birth of our nation. The Flag recalls memories of past achievements and gives inspiration towards future success. The Jamaican flag is flown on triumphant occasions, showing the pride that Jamaicans have in their country and in the flag, itself.
The 6th August 2018 will mark the 56 years of Jamaica’s Independence. For more Jamaica posts check out my things to do in Jamaica, is Jamaica safe to travel, where to stay in Jamaica travel guide and things to do in Ocho Rios.
And if you’ve been reading my blog long enough or met me in person you’ll probably already know I am a proud born and bred Jamaican and living in London will not stop me from enjoying our independence.
So, with Jamaica’s dependence day around the corner. I was looking for events to attend to celebrate Jamaican Independence Day in London, which is something I do every year since living here. I try to attend as many Jamaican and Caribbean events I can in London. I even saw Damian Marley, set Brixton Academy on fire with his performance, a few weeks ago on the European leg of his ‘Stony Hill’ tour. (Check out my Instagram story Highlights to see some clips from his performance). Go see him if you get the chance he is just amazing, I’ve loved him since his ‘half-way tree’ album. He is a real lyrical genius and is indeed carrying on the Marley legacy.
I digress, anyways I was looking around for events to see what was on for Jamaican independence over that weekend in London and there was only a handful of events that were popping up. I even checked the Jamaican High Commission website, to see if there were any official Jamaican Independence celebration in London by the Jamaican Government. They only had a church service on the 28th July (which caused major eye rolls) as there isn’t a Jamaican I know that will be going to a church service to celebrate Jamaica’s independence. Not even my 60 something-year-old grandmother would be going to church to celebrate our independence (and she is a devoted Christian).
After a few hours of searching for cool things to do in London for Jamaica Independence Day. I’ve found a few things, that I’ve listed below that are family-friendly daytime events and nighttime club events for the party animals. That wants to dress in their best, drink rum and red bull, listen to bashment and dance all night.
Here are some ways that you can Celebrate Jamaican Independence Day in London!
First up is the family-friendly Jamaica Culture Day by Children’s Toolkit
Children’s Toolkit will be celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Windrush and Jamaica's 56th year of Independence with fun activities that everyone in the family can enjoy like live performances by up and coming artist, music, quizzes, games and Caribbean food on sale. Tickets are £5.50, and the show starts at 4.30pm.
Children's Toolkit is a non-profit organisation that supplies free education resources to less fortunate children of Jamaica. By fundraising to help the Early Years Institutions in Jamaica with toys and teaching materials for the teachers.
Check this out if you have little ones and what them to learn more about Jamaica and support a great cause.
Now this one event was the sum of all I could find for a family day out celebrating our independence.
Now for all my party animals, there are way more options for us varying from straight bashment, reggae and RnB, jazz to old school lovers rock for the oldies who can still do the two-step and skank.
There’s Jazz Jamaica, Celebrating reggae ska at Hideaway Jazz Club.
Bassist and bandleader Gary Crosby brings Jazz Jamaica back to Hideaway for Jamaica’s Independence Day. Mixing jazz and ska classics, with some reggae vibes and performing with a swing and zeal that has made them festival favourites around the world. Jazz Jamaica has rightly earned their reputation as 'one of the UK's leading good-time bands' (The Independent).
Inspired by the rhythms of traditional Jamaican music and the largely improvisational nature of jazz. The veteran jazz double bassist, Gary Crosby, had a concept which was to create a quintessential fusion of mento, ska, reggae and jazz, playing classic and modern jazz standards alongside Jamaican folksongs. The result was Jazz Jamaica.
If you’re a Jamaican Jazz fan or a Jazz fan in general, this is the place to be.
4th Saturday 2018
Doors 7pm, Show 9.30pm
The event that I’ll be attending for Jamaica Independence is the Ultimate Link Up! Jamaican Independence Party at O2 Academy Islington.
There’ll be top DJs and sounds systems from Jamaica, UK and Europe with bashment, dancehall, Rnb, hip hop, afrobeats and grime on heavy rotation.
People are encouraged to bring their flags (yes, we Jamaicans like to carry our flag with us at every event) and whistles too.
O2 Academy Islington
Friday, August 3rd, 2018 from 10:00pm to Saturday, August 4th, 2018 5:00am
Genres: Bashment, All Urban, Dancehall.
Rum and Reggae Festival is a Jamaican Independence celebration at Vauxhall’s street food. While Vauxhall has a large Latino community, the Jamaican will be invading Vauxhall for the day with Jerk chicken, rum punch and reggae music. Bringing a taste of the Caribbean to South London in association with Captain Morgan to celebrate Jamaican Independence weekend.
Captain Morgan’s mixologists will be on hand all day, creating original and bespoke themed cocktails from their Rum Shack, helping you to get into the true spirit of the Caribbean.
There will also be live performances, themed decorations, steel drum band, reggae films displayed on larger screens and a heavyweight reggae line-up curated by Shabba including Jamie Rodigan, Ayito and more. So, grab a group of friends hire out one of their private outdoor booths to enjoy the shenanigans.
Vauxhall street food garden, 6a South Lambeth Place, Lambeth, London Sw9 6LH, United Kingdom
Saturday August 4th, 2018 from 2:00pm to 10:00pm
Whether you’re Jamaican or not come along to one of these events and join Jamaicans in London, and the world celebrate our Independence day!