Jamaica is an island nation in the West Indies. It's one of the largest islands in the Caribbean Sea. The climate there is warm and humid, but eased with ocean winds. The tropical weather attracts many tourists each year.
Jamaican's national dish is saltfish with ackee. Ackee is a bright red vegetable. It's cooked with onions, green peppers, pork, eggs, and tomatoes.
Many other popular foods in Jamaica include corn, fish, yams, breadfruit, rice and peas, coconut milk, avocados, calalu (similar to spinach), chochos (similar to squash), plantains, and papayas. A big part of their diet consists of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
One of the big holidays in Jamaica is National Hero Day, celebrated on October 20th. This holiday was originally celebrated for Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley for laying the groundwork of Jamaica's leading political parties. Christmas is also celebrated in Jamaica.
Jonkonnu, Anancy, and Sunsplash are some of the annual ceremonies held in Jamaica. Jonkonnu is celebrated around Christmas time. A band of masquerades appear in some towns. Jamaican music is played while characters in costumes dance. Anancy is different from Jonkonnu. Instead of loud music, people gather around to listen to stories. Louise Bennett is a national favorite for telling the Anancy stories. Sunsplash is a concert of reggae music. It started in 1986, and has been held ever since.
Popular Jamaican music includes reggae, calypso, and gospel. Bob Marley was famous for his reggae music. Plantation Revelry and Mango Walk are two famous songs that are commonly danced to. At many hotels in Jamaica, there are professional limbo dancers. While accompanied by music, they bend over backwards and pass under a horizontal pole that is lowered slightly after each turn.
There are many sports played in Jamaica. Cricket, horse racing, polo, and soccer are some of the favorites. Cricket is a sport similar to American baseball. Jamaica has competed in world athletic events in this sport.