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Holiday Facts

Holiday Facts

 

  • Jamaica is an independent nation and a member of the British Commonwealth. After enjoying full internal self-government for a number of years Jamaica achieved independence in August of 1962. Queen Elizabeth II however, is still Queen of Jamaica by tradition and the titular head of state is her representative on the island the Governor General.
  • Geography: Jamaica is the third largest Caribbean island, measuring 146 miles at its widest point. Primarily of volcanic origin, the lush island features a mountain ridge that peaks at Blue Mountain which is 7,402 feet high. Many white-sand beaches and clear seas ring the island.
  • Democracy is complete, with an elected Parliament, a Prime Minister, an elected House of Representatives and a Senate. It works on similar lines to the British parliament. The constitution embodies absolute safeguards to personal liberties and democratic rule of law.
  • Parliament sits at Gordon House on Kingston's Duke Street and visitors can watch proceedings from the visitors gallery.
  • Population standing at 2,825,928 at the end of 2009 is made up of the following approximate ethnic groups: African 76.3%, Afro-European 15.1%, European 0.8%, Chinese and Afro-Chinese 1.2%, East Indian and Afro-East Indian 3.4% and others 3.4%.
  • Arawak Indians were the original inhabitants exterminated by the Spanish after Columbus discovered Jamaica in 1492. The Spanish were defeated by the British in 1655.
  • Snakes are extremely rare. They were killed off by the mongoose, imported to exterminate canefield rats.
 
  • Climate is year-round summer with no definite rainy season, although it usually rains most in May and October. North-easterly trade winds blow continually.
  • Industries in order of importance are tourism bauxite, agriculture (sugar, bananas, coffee, pimento, cocoa and tobacco). No other country in the world produces pimento, also known as Allspice.
  • Orchids grow wild all over Jamaica, 200 species of them, 73 of which are found nowhere else. There are also 500 species of fern and 1,000 species of trees.
  • Blue Moons happen in Jamaica. Sapphire-coloured moons have been observed half a dozen times during the last 40 years.
  • The Coconut Palm is not native to Jamaica or the West Indies. Surprisingly nor are sugar cane, bananas, mangoes, breadfruit or bamboo. They were all brought to the island at various stages in its history. The original Arawak inhabitants lived mainly on corn, fish and yams.
  • Unexplored country still exists in the Cockpit Country, part of which is inhabited by the Maroons, slaves turned loose by the Spanish before they fled the island, and who went to this wild country to form settlements. They later harassed the British so much they were granted independence in a treaty of 1734 and still govern themselves today.

 BAHAMAS FLAVOUR    Marry_Abroad