Bahamian Junkanoo

An unrivaled celebration of the holidays in the Caribbean, Bahamian Junkanoo is a tradition that transforms Nassau’s Bay Street into a joyous playground vibrating with lively music, colorful costumes, and exuberant dancing.

When the clock strikes twelve on Christmas night, Bahamians flock to Bay Street for the Boxing Day parade. A feast for the senses, the parade is a flurry of feathers, vivid colors, and intriguing textures with street dancers moving to the beat of goat skin drums and the cacophony of cowbells and whistles blending smoothly with the symphony of groovy brass bands. The six-hour revelry is explosive and infectious in a delicious way, a show of pageantry that takes local Bahamians months to plan and create.

The Bahamian Junkanoo parades are fierce but friendly competitions among Junkanoo groups that take up to a year of planning, choreographing, and ingenious crafting to transform humble cardboard into over-the-top creations that wow the crowds and bring a sense of pride to native Bahamians. More than the top prize, performing groups aim to claim bragging rights for their victory. The rivalry does not end on Boxing Day, however, as the New Year’s Day parade presents a second, completely different set of costumes and performances to look forward to.

This double helping of festival parades brings revelers from all over the world to the Bahamas to witness the spectacles. If crowded streets are not your cup of tea, restaurants and establishments lining Bay Street offer access to their balconies and some provide packages that include food and drinks for those wanting a better view of the pageantry. Nevertheless, whether down on the streets or up on the balconies, being in the midst of the revelry will surely make for a spectacular Caribbean holiday.

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    December 26, 2024
    January 1, 2025