Keep It Jiggy Jamaica Blog

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Welcome to Keep It Jiggy's Jamaica Blog!

This is where you'll find info about Jamaica's people, places, style, food, music and experiences. Even if you only come here to read articles or search for hotel or events in Jamaica, you are essential to making our blog unique.

Our Jamaica blog is for the adventurous, the curious and the young at heart. Our goal is to provide you with the most interesting information about this beautiful Island nation. We've tried to provide a good overview of Jamaica, her parishes, places to stay, things to do, recipes to try, fun annual cultural and music events, the history of the unusual Jamaican place names you'll find there, an introduction to Jamaican Patois, and much, more more!

We've tried to make it easy for you to find your way around the place. Click on the tabs at the top of every page, or search the entire site from the box at the top of the right sidebar to find everything we have on that subject.

We hope you feel as passionately about Jamaica as we do, and we always want to hear what you have to say. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions for topics you'd like to see on our Jamaica blog. We'll do our best to deliver!

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Christmas in Jamaica: It’s Sorrel Drinking Time!

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Blog, Jamaican Culture, Jamaican Food, Jamaican Recipes | 0 comments

Christmas in Jamaica: It’s Sorrel Drinking Time!

Christmas in Jamaica would not be Christmas without traditional Jamaican Sorrel Drink, and you still have plenty of time to make yours!

Yes, you can buy it pre-bottled year-round in Jamaican supermarkets and throughout the Caribbean, but there is something special about making your own. Homemade is always better. It's not difficult and is good for you (if you leave out the rum!).

Sorrel ("SAH-rell"), is the Jamaican name for the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant, a prickly species of the hibiscus (not the ornamental variety) and cousin to the okra.

Sorrel grows abundantly in Jamaica, and you will see freshly harvested sorrel everywhere, primarily between October and January. You may not see much evidence of Christmas outside of the tourist areas, but you will definitely find Jamaican Sorrel Drink in nearly every home at holiday time.

 

What Is Sorrel?

There are actually two completely different species of "sorrel" - Hibiscus sabdarrifa (the red sorrel of the Caribbean) and Rumex acetosa, the green common or garden variety of sorrel, which is also edible.

The English name for the Hibiscus sabdarrifa is "Roselle". It originated in Western and Northern Africa (Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan) where it has grown since ancient times. Its spread throughout the world can be linked to Spain and the slave trade.
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Glistening Waters – A Shimmering Natural Wonder in Falmouth, Jamaica

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Blog, Falmouth Jamaica, Jamaica Things to Do, Jamaica Travel, Trelawny Jamaica | 0 comments

Glistening Waters – A Shimmering Natural Wonder in Falmouth, Jamaica

A "Bio-Bay" to Treasure in Trelawny

Have you ever been swimming in a bioluminescent bay? "Bio-bays" are places where swimming in the water on a moonless night is like swimming in a sea of sparkling stars. There are only a handful of these bays left in the world, and Jamaica is home to one of them. Jamaica calls the bay "Glistening Waters", although you may hear people refer to it as the "Luminous Lagoon". Officially, it's Oyster Bay.

It's been a long time since I've posted about Glistening Waters. This is one of my personal favorite spots on the island, so I think it's worth telling you about it again and to clear up some misconceptions so you'll know what to expect if you decide to go. You really should attempt to see this wonder of nature before it disappears.
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Tessanne Chin Represents Jamaican Diversity | This gal can SING!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Blog, Jamaican Music, Reggae Artistes, Tessanne Chin | 0 comments

Tessanne Chin Represents Jamaican Diversity | This gal can SING!

Jamaican-born Tessanne Chin has been sending chills down our spines with her powerful vocal performances on this season's The Voice reality TV show in the USA. Unless you live in a cave, you must have noticed the attention this young, soulful singer-songwriter is getting. At the auditions, all four The Voice coaches spun around in their seats within the first few bars of her rendition of "Cry" by the artist Pink (watch below!), and begged her to join their teams. Many artists don't even get one single judge to turn around! Tessanne selected Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine. Not only is Levine a talented musician, but he's always expressed his love for Caribbean music - a perfect match I say!


 
Her performances since the audition have been wowing coaches and audiences. On Monday, December 2, she represented Jamaica beautifully with a powerful, soulful rendition of the Bob Marley anthem "Redemption Song". Her coach, Levine, said, "I was thinking about nothing, I was so immersed in that song, I'm sure not only is Jamaica proud of you, but the whole world knows the power and potency of Bob Marley and now, Tessanne Chin." (more…)

Rounding Third: Little League Baseball in Jamaica!

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in Blog, Charitable organizations, Jamaica sports | 0 comments

Rounding Third: Little League Baseball in Jamaica!

 
 
In June and July 2013, while staying at Hotel Jamaican Colors in Portland (my FAVORITE place), I was intrigued when I spotted another guest leaving his bungalow one morning carrying a baseball bat. Why a bat, I wondered?! Where could he possibly be headed? Is there actually somewhere to play baseball in Jamaica?

Sport is a HUGE part of Jamaica's culture; cricket is the most popular, followed by association football (soccer to my fellow Americans). And then there's athletics - we know many of those supremely talented Jamaican track athletes - Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Don Quarrie, Merlene Ottey. Jamaicans also pursue sports most people would consider unusual for a tropical country, such as Olympic bobsled (Cool Runnings) and the Alaska Iditarod (Newton Marshall)!

But what about baseball in Jamaica? (more…)

ATI Weekend Negril 2013 | Scheduled for 8/1 to 8/6

Posted by on May 26, 2013 in ATI Weekend, Blog, Festivals/Events, Negril Jamaica | 1 comment

ATI Weekend Negril 2013 | Scheduled for 8/1 to 8/6

Appleton Jamaica Rum once again sponsors Appleton Temptation Isle (ATI Weekend Negril 2013) celebrating 12 years of high energy and wild abandon!

**Confirmed dates:
August 1 to August 6, 2013

The ATI website has not yet been updated so there are no details yet, but rooms are booking up FAST. Last year's event was one super all-inclusive 4-day weekend, but I have no idea yet what they're planning for 2013. When I see more details, I will post them here.

Please see the Smirnoff Dream Weekend post for some details about that event, also taking place in Negril from August 1st to August 6th.
 

Related articles from around the Web

Westmoreland Curry Festival 2013 | Jamaica | Sunday, April 28

Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Beenie Man, Blog, Curry Chicken/Goat, Jamaica Things to Do, Jamaica Travel, Tifa, Westmoreland Curry Festival, Westmoreland Jamaica | 2 comments

Westmoreland Curry Festival 2013 | Jamaica | Sunday, April 28

Love curry chicken? Curry goat? Head to the Westmoreland Curry Festival this weekend!

The Westmoreland Curry Festival 2013 is the premier annual curry food show in the Caribbean and this will be Westmoreland's 13th annual event. It's a major fundraiser for the Manning's School and other worthy charities in Westmoreland Parish. Over 10,000 local and international visitors patronize the festival every year.

The festival is a family fun-fest with face painting, a children's play area, and craft and vendor booths. It appeals to adults as well with enjoyable evening music entertainment by popular local reggae and gospel artistes. And, of course, curry, curry and MORE curry! (more…)

Faith’s Pen Jamaica | Tasty Road Food in Saint Ann!

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Blog, Jamaica Things to Do, Jamaica Travel, Jamaican Culture, Jamaican Food, Ocho Rios Jamaica, St. Ann Jamaica | 0 comments

Faith’s Pen Jamaica | Tasty Road Food in Saint Ann!

A Cultural (& Food) Landmark in Faith's Pen, Jamaica

If you love "road food" as much as I do and are driving between the North Coast of Jamaica and Kingston or Spanish Town via Route A1, be sure to make a rest stop at the famous Faith's Pen near Mount Diablo, in the central mountain area of Saint Ann Parish. Specifically, this Jamaican-style "truck stop" is located right along the edge of a winding section of road between the rural communities of Mount Rosser and Moneague, about 12 miles south of Ocho Rios. There's no way you can miss it. (more…)

The Roots of Heaven | Port Antonio, Jamaica from WSJ.com

Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in Blog, Jamaica Travel, Port Antonio Jamaica, Portland Jamaica | 1 comment

The Roots of Heaven | Port Antonio, Jamaica from WSJ.com

Editor: Nice article here about beautiful Portland, my favorite parish! When in Jamaica, I spend most of my time in Long Bay, Manchioneal, Port Antonio and all points in between. I'm sharing this WSJ.com article because it gives you a good idea about the spirit and beauty of Portland, Jamaica.

There's at least one error to point out: Brooke Shields' movie, Blue Lagoon, was NOT filmed in Jamaica. Despite Portland's being home to the world-famous Blue Lagoon, the movie was apparently shot on Nanuya Levu, a privately owned island in Fiji, while the blue lagoon scenes were shot in Champagne Bay, Vanuatu. HOWEVER, there have been thousands of movies filmed, at least in part, in Jamaica. Here are some of the most prominent ones you may recognize that WERE filmed in the Port Antonio area! (source: IMDB.com) (more…)

Beres Hammond to get key to the city at Miami music festival – Caribbean360

Posted by on Apr 18, 2013 in Beres Hammond, Blog, Festivals/Events | 0 comments

Beres Hammond to get key to the city at Miami music festival – Caribbean360

Beres Hammond to get key to the city at Miami music festival

FLORIDA, United States, Tuesday April 16, 2013 – Veteran reggae star Beres Hammond will be honoured by the City Of Miami with the key to the city, which will be presented by Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, at this year’s Best Of The Best music festival.

The legendary Jamaican singer will also be presented with a Congressional Proclamation by Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson for his many musical and philanthropic contributions over the last three decades.

The international Reggae star will also feature as one of the headline acts for Best Of The Best, South Florida's longest-running Memorial Weekend music festival, slated for Sunday May 26 at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. (more…)

Liguanea Art Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary on Sunday April 21, 2013

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Blog, Jamaica Things to Do, Jamaican crafts, Liguanea Art Festival | 0 comments

Liguanea Art Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary on Sunday April 21, 2013

Enjoy an Art-Filled Day at Liguanea!

 
On Sunday, April 21st, the parking lot at Liguanea Plaza in Saint Andrew will once again be transformed into the 10th Annual Liguanea Art Festival, and filled with booths containing beautiful works of art, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, photography and jewelry. It's a true feast for the eyes!

The Liguanea Art Festival (pronounced lig-a-knee ) is organized by (and the brainchild of) Tony and June Wong of Liguanea Drug & Garden Centre. This is Jamaica's largest outdoor art festival, and has become the largest single-day art exhibition of its kind in the Caribbean. Below you'll find a few photos from past festivals to give you an idea of the caliber of art you can expect to find at the Festival. (more…)