The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission is responsible for National Celebratory and Commemorative events, including Emancipation and Independence Anniversary Celebration, National Religious Services; Floral & Civic Ceremonies for The Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, The Rt. Excellent Norman Manley, and The Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey; National Heritage Week and Celebrations for Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE; Randolph S. Williams, CD (Maas Ran) and Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, OM (Bob Marley).
Emancipation and Independence
The Emancipation Observation and Independence Celebrations are considered integral to national development as a way of giving Jamaicans a sense of who they are, and what their history and culture is all about.
Each year, the island is engulfed in a period of celebrations, contemplation and reflection as the nation commemorates the anniversaries of emancipation from slavery and its political independence. In commemorating these major milestones in the nation’s history, recognition is given to the various areas of our culture. The content and context of the activities this year will not only commemorate our historic movement into Emancipation and Independence, but will also spur a sense of belonging to the nation and its successes. The elements of national identity and national pride impacts all facets of Jamaicans live and against that background the Celebrations are diverse, appealing and attractive to Jamaicans at home and abroad.
National Religious Services
The Committee for the Promotion of National Religious Services (CPNRS) is responsible for organizing services that are religious in nature in observation and celebrations of National Worker’s Week and Labour Day, Emancipation and Independence and National Heritage Week.
Floral & Civic Ceremonies
On the Birthday Anniversaries of our National Heroes, Floral Tributes and Civic Ceremonies are organized by the JCDC and other stakeholders. Celebrations are held for The Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante (February 24); The Rt. Excellent Norman Manley, (July 4) and The Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey (August 17). The Floral Tributes are held at the National Heroes Park, National Heroes Circle in Kingston, while the birthplace of these heroes are the site for the Civic Ceremony.
National Heritage Week
National Heritage Week is observed annually the week leading up to the third Monday in October, National Heroes Day. The week-long observation includes a national religious service organized by the CPNRS and replicated in each parish. The week closes with the National Honours and Awards Ceremony.
Cultural Icon Celebrations
Celebrations are organized annually for outstanding Jamaicans who have made a significant impact on Jamaica’s culture and has use their platform to highlight the unique Jamaican culture to the world. Currently celebrations are held for Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE, (Miss Lou) on September 7; Randolph S. Williams, CD (Maas Ran) on October 26 and Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, OM (Bob Marley) on February 6.