Jamaica’s Independence Celebrations Go Online

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a lot of disruption in daily life, and many events and celebrations that would have otherwise been held with huge crowds have now been conducted in isolation, or have had to be cancelled altogether.

Look at sports for example, where Liverpool, who won the Premier League this season after 30 years without a top-flight title, could not even celebrate it with their fans, and had to hoist the trophy at an empty Anfield stadium.

That is just one example of how the pandemic has changed life at the moment, and a lot of events have actually gone online to allow people to be able to participate and still have some sort of experience from the safety of their homes.

Online services and platforms have been growing immensely during this time, with casino online being one prime example of a service which has become very popular and allowed the standard casino industry to be able to cater to their customers while maintaining the safety needed right now.

In keeping with this need, we are going to see virtual celebrations in the Caribbean as well, where Jamaica’s independence day festivities will have to be carried out online due to the pandemic.

The celebrations are usually very boisterous and grand, but those plans cannot be put into action this year. Festivities usually start in the last week of July and lead up to the independence day itself on 6th August, with the period being known as the Jamaica Festival. The Minister of Culture and Entertainment, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange has already confirmed that this year’s Jamaica Festival will have to be an online event for the most part.

There were plans to extend the scope of the Festival and make it a cultural and entertainment hub by rebranding it, but the pandemic has made it impossible for this to be done. Some of the usual events which are part of the Festival may not be possible this year, but others, including the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, will be held virtually.

The National Independence Church Service will be conducted from 2nd August onwards, and will also be conducted online, while also being broadcast on television. Emancipation will also be celebrated virtually with a celebration on the 31st, while the Grand Gala will be a spectacular event on 6th August, albeit this will also be held online.

‘Resilient and Strong, Let’s Celebrate Jamaica 58’ is the theme for this year’s festivities. Usually, Jamaicans living abroad have travelled back to the country during this time of celebration, and it is the same this time around as well.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the government has welcomed Jamaicans all over the world to celebrate the spirit of Independence. The Culture Minister has said that they have encouraged Jamaicans, both at home and globally, to celebrate Independence by decorating their homes and surroundings in the national colours, with elaborate designs.

This directive has gone out to government offices, municipal corporations, businesses and citizens as well, in order to make it as widespread as possible. Prizes will also be awarded during this time, with some of them including Best Decorated Town Centre, Best Decorated Business Place, Best Decorated Government Office, Best Decorated Private Residence and Best Decorated Diaspora Community Celebration. Media outlets who display the spirit of independence through the content they carry during this time will be in contention for the Best Media Celebration award.

These efforts show the way to carry out grand celebrations while staying safe at the same time. Jamaica has had to adapt its usual way of celebrating a big national holiday, but the country is still pressing forward and intending to enjoy the festivities as much as possible.

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