Jamaica, in the Caribbean Sea, celebrates its Independence Day on August 6 each year to commemorate its freedom from British colonial occupation.
How is Independence Day celebrated in Jamaica?
Fifty years ago at midnight on August 5, 1962, the Union Jack was lowered and the flag of Jamaica was unfurled for the first time. The birth of an independent Jamaica was, perhaps, the most significant event in the nation's history. Today, Jamaicans celebrate the day to commemorate that historic movement, and to reflect on the struggle undertaken to gain autonomy. It is a day of national pride and commemorates the country's achievements.
Independence Day is a day of grand celebrations in Jamaica; from paying homage to the fallen heroes who fought for the independence of the country to indulging in entertainment, music, dance, and parades with people attired in ethnic costumes, Jamaicans hold many laudatory events.
What is the historic significance of Independence Day of Jamaica?
Christopher Columbus first sighted Jamaica in 1494, and by 1509 Spanish colonists occupied the country. Britain established its control on Jamaica in 1655, but it was not until 1670 that the Spaniards gave up their control and recognized British dominance. The 1700s saw an economic boom with Jamaica becoming largest producer of sugar across the world. The economic boom, however, led to the growth of slavery and other evils. Slavery was later abolished in 1834 after the British colonists enacted the Emancipation Law in wake of growing slave revolts and uprisings.
At about this time nationalistic sentiments were on the rise and a movement towards independence started to take shape. In the1930s and early 1940s, Jamaica saw the birth of two political parties People's National Party (PNP), and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). In 1944, Jamaica held its first elections which were won by JLP. JLP was replaced by PNP in 1955, and in 1958 Jamaica joined the Federation of West Indies, but withdrew in 1961. Finally, on August 6, 1962, Jamaica achieved freedom from British colonial rule.
What does the national flag of Jamaica represents?
Jamaica adopted its flag on August 6, 1962, the day it won its independence from the British. It consists of diagonal lines, dividing the flag into four triangles. While the top and bottom are equal green triangles, the left and the right triangles are black in color.
The flag has Pan-African colors, each of which venerates Jamaica's African legacy. While green is the symbol of hope and agricultural abundance, the yellow is representative of natural resources and sunshine, and Black stands for creativity and courage of the people.
Who wrote the national anthem of Jamaica?
Jamaica, Land We Love, is the national anthem of Jamaica. It was winning entrant of a completion that was held in 1961. It was set to music by Robert Lightbourne (arranged by Mapletoft Poulle) and its lyrics were written by Hugh Sherlock.