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Frenchmen New Year’s Day Party | © Frenchmen
Frenchmen New Year’s Day Party | © Frenchmen
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How To Spend New Year's Eve In Jamaica

Picture of Lyndsey Kilifin
Updated: 17 November 2016
New Year’s Eve in Jamaica is a time for partying and a time for reflection. The Church and DJs offer their own particular versions of NYE celebrations, both capturing the spirit of the Jamaican people. It is perfectly normal to include both on the last night of the year, and not unusual to head straight to a party from midnight mass; here’s how to spend New Year’s Eve in Jamaica.

Church – Attend a Watch Night Service

The tradition of Watch Night began on December 31, 1862. Slaves in the U.S. gathered in churches to await news that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect. Watch Night services have always been a favorite of those who prefer to start the new year on a reflective and holy note. Locations like Family Church on the Rock in Montego Bay or Fellowship Tabernacle in Kingston are both popular venues. Starting just prior to midnight, communities come together to see in the New Year.

People praying
People praying | © Fellowship Tabernacle

FCOTR, Reading Pen, Montego Bay, Jamaica + 1 876 9400 2989

Black-Tie Party – Celebrate at Round Hill Hotel

Round Hill hotel is one of the most exclusive hotels in Jamaica. Popular with international celebrities and Royals, this is a glamorous venue to see in the new year. This exclusive black-tie event attracts both a Jamaican and a global crowd to one of the most beautiful settings on the island.

Swimming pool
Swimming pool | Courtesy of Round Hill Hotel and Villas

Round Hill Hotel and Villas, John Pringle Drive,Montego Bay, Jamaica +1 876 9567050

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Beach Party At Treasure Beach

If celebrating barefoot is more your style, then head to Treasure Beach. Ring in 2017 with a cold Red Stripe and the sound of reggae beats. Six miles of sandy beaches, private coves, and rocky shorelines make Treasure Beach the perfect escape. This beach is popular with tourists and locals who flock there annually for the party. The legendary Jakes hosts a party where Jamaican chill meets reggae vibes in a tropical, picturesque setting.

DJs | Courtesy of Jakes Hotel

DJs | Courtesy of Jakes Hotel

Treasure Beach, Saint Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica

Caribbean Chic at Goldeneye

Goldeneye opens its doors for one of biggest star-studded New Year’s Eve parties on the island. Owned by Chris Blackwell of Island Records, the party attracts a plethora of global stars, and live music acts and DJs keep people dancing throughout the night. A spectacular fireworks display on the beach rings in the new year with a bang at the place where James Bond was created. Tickets aren’t cheap but champagne and world-class music might be worth it.

Bizot Bar
Bizot Bar | Courtesy of GoldenEye

Goldeneye, Race Course, Oracabessa, Jamaica +1 876 622 9007

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Public Celebrations – Harbour Fest and Fireworks

Harbour Fest and Fireworks are a free public event held on the waterfront in downtown Kingston. An immensely enjoyable way to bring in the new year, this is where many Kingstonians gather. The sound systems energize the dancing crowds in true Jamaican style, and jerk and rum are in ample supply to keep the revelers fueled all night long. The incredible firework display lights up the Kingston skies. You don’t have to be on the waterfront though to take in the action — some of the best views of the fireworks are to be found in the suburban hills of Kingston.

Harbour Fest and Fireworks, Waterfront, Kingston, Jamaica

Getting Together (Liming) with Friends

Some of the best New Year’s Eve parties are those held in private homes. For many Jamaicans, NYE is a time to invite friends and family over to lime. Liming is popular across the Caribbean and is synonymous with hanging out, socializing and getting together. On New Year’s Eve, many Jamaicans will get together with close friends and family to eat, drink and be merry.

Hanging out on beach
Hanging out on beach | © Unsplash

All-Inclusive New Year’s Day Party by Frenchmen

The Frenchmen party on New Year’s Day is a Jamaican institution. Established in 1989 by trio Juicey, TC & Doc, Frenchmen has become nationally famous for its all-inclusive parties. Climax is considered Frenchmen’s signature event and one of the liveliest parties of the year. Kicking off at 4 p.m. on January 1st, this is the ultimate embodiment of the Jamaican party. Tickets can be in short supply, so it pays to get one early; this is a fully catered all-inclusive event with as much food and alcohol as your body can handle.

Frenchmen Party
Frenchmen Party | Courtesy of Frenchmen

Frenchmen Party, Climax, Caymanas Golf Club, Kingston, Jamaica +1 876 928 5542