Falmouth, Jamaica kids in bandana costumes in 2006

Emancipation and Independence Activities

Emancipation and Independence activities are being held island-wide under the theme: ‘Proud and Free, Jamaica 53.’ The fashion theme is ‘Bandana and Denim, ketch the Festival Riddim.’

Emancipation Day is August 1, while Independence Day is August 6. This is Jamaica’s 53rd Independence celebration, having gained independence from Great Britain in 1962.

The activities for these holidays are co-ordinated by the JCDC under the leadership of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, led by Lisa Hanna.


Kids dancing in Falmouth, Jamaica dressed in bandana clothing in 2006

Hanna urges Jamaicans to celebrate. Speaking on Sunday at the National Emancipation and Independence Thanksgiving Church Service at St Jago de la Vega Cathedral on Barrett Street, St Catherine, Lisa Hanna said: “Don’t let anybody tell you mustn’t celebrate because we are a proud and free country; we are a resilient people. Put on your bandana and catch the festival rhythm and come out and jump because Jamaica is a special country; it is a God-blessed country and we will proceed forward with excellence.”

The bandana is the national costume of Jamaica, but the cloth originated in India. In fact, the word ‘bandana’ is a Hindi word. However, the bandana costume has been totally adapted by Jamaica, and has become synonymous with the country, its festival and other cultural activities.

jamaica 53 emancipation and independence activities

For us here in Trelawny, we have our own itinerary for the celebrations. It will kick off with the Emancipation vigil in Bounty Hall at the primary school. The Independence Church Service will be held at the Alps New Testament Church of God in South Trelawny. The climax as usual, will be ‘Street Dance’ to be held in Water Square Falmouth on Independence Day (evening).


Week of Emancipation and Independence Activities for the parish of  Trelawny, 2015

Date and Time Event Venue
Friday, July 31, 2015 @8:00pm Emancipation Vigil Bounty Hall Primary School
Saturday, August 1 @ 6:00pm Emancipation Day Drumming Celebrations Water Square, Falmouth
Sunday, August 2 @ 11:00am Independence Church Service Alps New Testament Church of God
Wednesday, August 5 @

1:00 pm

Trelawny Bandwagon Route -Wakefield, Falmouth and Duncans
Thursday, August 6 @ 10:00am Independence Day Civic Ceremony Water Square Falmouth
Thursday, August 6 @8:00pm Big Stage Finals & Independence Street Dance Water Square Falmouth


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