With the resurrection of Jesus Christ a basis for celebration, Easter signals Bacchanal Carnival in Jamaica. While a majority throughout the Eastern Caribbean revel through a pre-Lenten celebration, Jamaicans reverse the observance by enduring abstinence of worldly habits for 40 days but at the end resurrect from the drought and famine by launching into carnival mode.
Late starters to the carnival tapestry throughout the Caribbean region, Jamaica carnival began in 1990 when bandmaster and musician Byron Lee launched the annual pageantry. This year’s theme is “Conquest & Surrender.”
Music and dance is at the heart of the revelry however, Jamaica’s national dishes integrate a unique flavor during all-night into morning breakfast specialties of ackee and salt-fish, mackerel and bananas, fish and bammy; fried dumplings with red herring along with delightful jerk, curry, escoveitched and stewed favorites. Already at peak in Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, in Oracabessa, St. Mary, Bunji Garlin launched beach J’Ouvert.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Destra & The Backanal Band stopped into the island to perform at Mas Camp North in the capital city. Kes The Band is also slated for Bacchanal J’Ouvert in Kingston. Flat-bed trailers with speakers and live bands will circumference an area through Kingston for eight straight hours while thousands of costumed revelers will take to the road feting, gyrating and showing off their costumes during their Roadmarch to end Bacchanal Carnival on April 27.
JAMAICA RELEASES 21 PRISONERS FOR EASTER
Freedom meant bun and cheese, exit from penitentiaries and reunion with families for 21 Jamaican inmates who were released from prisons across the island in time for the Easter holidays.
Reportedly, their release was secured by Food for the Poor Jamaica, a charity that paid outstanding fines on their behalf. Classified non-violent offenders who were serving time for misdemeanors most were confined for traffic violations and petty larceny. It is understood that Sandra Ramsey, administrator of Food for the Poor’s prison ministry, urged those released to show their gratitude by not returning and to control their temper and seek to resolve their difference without fighting. Every year during the Easter and Christmas holidays, Food for the Poor, through its prison ministry, pays the fine for selected persons across the Caribbean who are serving time for non-violent offences.