(Last updated June 25, 2017)
Jamaicans take public holidays very seriously. Do not expect much business to be conducted at holiday time. Some businesses close early the day before. Public beaches are often very crowded on public holidays.
Jamaica celebrates Easter!
Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday) – March 30, 2018
Easter Monday(Monday after Easter Sunday) – April 2, 2018
Many stores close early on Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday.
After researching this topic, there is one thing I know for sure. Most Jamaica events calendars are woefully inaccurate.
Many popular websites still list events that have long been abandoned or happened in the distant past. Outdated websites and inactive Facebook pages are not uncommon.
Additionally, except for the large shows that draw an international crowd, most of the events are not well publicized and neither are they advertised far enough in advance.
It takes some serious sleuthing to find out about those hidden local gems. The good news is that we have done the hard work for you!
That said, If you are planning your vacation around a specific event, make sure you double-check the dates, ideally with the organizers, before confirming your travel plans. Also, realize that sometimes events are canceled if ticket sales are poor.
Held in Black River, St. Elizabeth, this is one of the biggest and best flower shows in Jamaica. It has been held on Easter Monday since 1963. Combined with sightseeing options on the South Coast, this would be a great day trip to take from the Discovery Bay area.
Date: April 2, 2018
Location: Independence Park, Black River, St. Elizabeth
This is an annual sailing event involving several races over Easter Weekend.
The Yacht Club is under an hour’s drive from Discovery Bay.
For questions or interest in racing, contact Mike Morse at 876-327-7038
Yacht club’s phone number: 876-979-7038
Dates: Easter weekend – March 30 – April 2, 2018
Shout out to the National Theater Dance Company (NDTC) on their 56th anniversary in 2018!
Every Easter Sunday morning for more than 30 years, the NDTC’s dancers, singers, and orchestra in collaboration with the Little Theatre Movement have put on a program that is a sight to behold – an experience that stirs the soul and stimulates the mind.
In their own words, they describe the performance as follows: “NDTC’s diversity and texture catch the moods of worship, utilizing Black spirituals, Native American spiritual music, Jamaican revival and ritual chants, South African praise songs as well as Europe’s liturgical music, providing audience with what has been repeatedly dubbed a sense of fulfilment in observing the Easter mood of resurrection, renewal and spiritual upliftment”.
Date: Easter Sunday, April 2, 2018, 6 am
Location: Little Theatre, Kingston
Carnival runs from February through April with the events getting bigger and bigger towards the end of the period. Traditionally, it is a 6 week season ending on the Sunday after Easter Monday.
Most events take place in Kingston, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay. The finale is a weeklong series of fetes, concerts, and street parades.
Carnival really started in Kingston so that is where you will find the more spectacular events. With the new toll road, you could be in Kingston is just over an hour so an easy day or half day trip from Discovery Bay. There is so much to see and do in Kingston so you would be better off planning this as a day trip.
Beach J’ouvert, James Bond Beach, Ocho Rios – April 15, 2017
Pre-Mas Revellers Fete – April 19, 2017
Bacchanal J’ouvert & Road March, Mas Campus – April 21, 2017
Bacchanal Road Parade – April 23, 2017
Date: Details for 2018 are not yet available
Location: various locations over the island
This annual event is now held on the spacious Shazz Entertainment Grounds in Richmond, Priory, St. Ann. There is a big focus on the art of kite making and flying but what’s a festival without music and food. Even international reggae artist, Shaggy, was there one year.
Date: April 17, 2017. The date for 2018 is not yet confirmed.
Location: Shazz Entertainment Center, Richmond, Prior, St. Ann
The National Gallery of Art’s flagship biennial exhibition showcases works of art in all media and genres by a wide variety of artists who enter the exhibition through a juried system or by special invitation.
If you are an art lover, you will want to see this exhibit. The National Gallery in Kingston has the largest collection. This would be a great stop on a visit to Kingston.
Dates: Feb 26, 2017 – May 28, 2017. Dates for 2018 are not available
Locations: National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston, National Gallery West in Montego Bay, and Devon House in Kingston
Carnival of Speed
Jamaica Race Drivers Club puts on exciting races over Easter Monday, Independence Day, and Heroes Day at Dover Raceway, St. Ann.
Dover Raceway is on the way to Browns Town, about 20 minutes or so from Discovery Bay
Dates: Easter Monday – April 2, 2018
Location: Dover Raceway, St. Ann
Jamaica’s Theatre season runs from December through May. The national pantomime, a central main event of the season, has been running annually since the 1940s.
The pantomime is a play which is usually a musical comedy making satirical reference to Jamaican culture, folklore, as well as historical and or current events and politics.
The costumes and sets are usually vibrant, creative and colorful. The dialog is primarily in Patois and without some local knowledge, it can be difficult for foreigners to follow along.
Most Jamaican plays cater to mature audiences; however, the pantomime caters to patrons of all ages and backgrounds.
Date: December 26, 2017 – May 31, 2018 (Title for the play is not et available.)
Location: Little Theatre, Kingston
There is always some fruit in season in Jamaica. Betcha never heard of some of these! Go should try some of these exotic goodies while you are in Jamaica. They will certainly taste better there than if you try to source them overseas.
Jamaicans say neez-berry. It is called sapodilla in other countries. The fruit had brown skin and brown pulp with black seeds and is in season from March through May
This almost pear-shaped fruit is dark red on the outside and snow-white on the inside. There is a hard seed in the center. These apples bear fruit in February and April and also in June and July
This fruit softens as it ripens at which point it is easily broken to reveal white flesh covering black seeds. This fruit can be relied on to the sweet. It has a custard-like texture but is not as grainy as custard apples. Fruits bear in April to July. To enjoy this delicacy, you have to suck the flesh off the seeds. Don’t even bother trying to be elegant about it.
We all want perfect weather conditions on our vacations. The reality is that nature has its own agenda. Here is a guide as to historical weather conditions in the Discovery Bay – Braco area during April in Jamaica.
On average, there are 3002 hours of sunshine per year in Jamaica out of a possible 4383 hours. The sunniest months are January through April, as well as July and August.
Average amount of bright sunshine per day in April: 8hrs
Average amount of daylight per day in April: ~13hrs
Sunrise: between 5:43 and 6:04am
Sunset: between 6:25 and 6:33pm
Northeasterly trade winds keep the coastal areas cool with island temperatures averaging around 71-88°F year round. Nevertheless, there aren’t wide variations in temperature across the island.
Temperatures do tend to be lower in the mountainous areas such as in the Blue Mountains. Temperatures decrease by about 1°F for every 300ft increase in elevation. The plains such as in Kingston and the more flat and arid southern areas of the island, such as Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth, are hotter.
The warmest months in Jamaica are July and August with average maximum temperature of about 89-90°F. The coolest months are December through February with maximum temperatures of about 84.
Average maximum daytime temperature in Discovery Bay – Braco area in Jamaica in April is about 86°F/30°C.
Average minimum temperature is around 72°F/22°C.
How much rain can you expect? It varies.
Traditionally, the rainy periods are April and May/June and again October to November/December. June and July are generally the driest months. February and March are also traditionally dry months too. This pattern does vary from year to year with much more variability noted in recent years.
The amount of rainfall and the frequency of showers or days of rain can vary quite a bit in Jamaica, even in nearby towns. For example, there could be significant rainfall in the town of Discovery Bay with hardly a rain drop in our area, five minutes drive away. In general, the more north-eastern sections of Jamaica gets the most rain. These areas would represent areas east of Ocho Rios and on into Portland, where rainfall averages can be significant.
Rain in Jamaica often is at night or early mornings. Sometimes, rain comes on during the daytime in short quick spurts only to disappear just as quickly as it came. In the rainy period, there can be several consecutive days of rain.
On average, there are about 7 or 8 days with some rainfall during the month of April.
Average monthly rainfall in April is less than an inch. Discovery Bay area gets less rain than Ocho Rios.
If there are heavy rains, on-river activities, such as river rafting, might be canceled due to high water levels or rapid rivers. Water clarity could also be affected depending on how much rain occurred in the mountains.
The sea is warmest during July through October. Average sea water temperature in Discovery Bay in April is about 81°F/27°C.
April is one of the windiest months. This makes it perfect for kite flying!
In some areas, the wind can cause rough waves which could interfere with snorkeling or scuba diving, which are best in calm waters. The waters in Discovery Bay are generally calm.
April is not in hurricane season.
Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.
Tropical storm risk is basically zero.
April 15th is the end of the tourist high season. Hotel rates go down in low season. Easter, however, is a very popular time in Jamaica so expect higher rates during this week.
April is a fairly busy month primarily due to visitors for Spring Break and Easter.
The five busiest months for arrivals at Montego Bay’s airport are March, June, July, August, and December, with July being especially busy. This makes sense as it coincides with many holidays, including school holidays. September, October, and November see the fewest number of arrivals every year. Hint, those are great months to snag deals!
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
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‘Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell & Darrian
Considering a visit to Jamaica? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families, groups, and intimate destination weddings.
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Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!