Bahamas Holidays

Junkanoo Drums during a Bahamas holiday celebration

Bahamas holidays are traditionally celebrated in a grand manner. There are several cherished holidays in the Bahamas all year round in which visitors are expected to grow in numbers. According to Bahamas culture, holidays are usually commemorated with grand celebrations which are often featured in Bahamas news. Here are some of the Bahamas holidays worth remembering:

#1 New Year’s Day

In lieu of celebrating the first day of the year with lots of fireworks and all-night drunken parties, a Junkanoo parade is held all throughout each of the islands in Bahamas. It is a cultural festival that resembles Mardi Gras where the locals go to the streets wearing bright colored outfits doing ethnic dances to the beat of drums, whistles, and cowbells.

#2 Good Friday

Because the main religion on the islands is Christianity, many Christian holidays are celebrated as Bahamas holidays. Good Friday falls on the Friday before Easter which is also the finale of the Lenten Season. On this day, Bahamians mostly attend mass in church and all the people on the islands serve fish as their main dish for the day.

#3 Easter Monday

This Bahamas holiday falls on the Monday after Easter when homecomings and regattas are joyfully held on some of the out islands. The regattas often feature a variety of craft sloops. Public parks are usually filled with cookouts. This day also signals the beginning of beach picnicking season for many of the locals.

#4 Labour Day

This particular holiday in the Bahamas honors and celebrates the hard work that all the workers have contributed to the community and their country. Celebrated on the first Friday of June, this holiday is full of exciting activities which include a parade of political parties and labour union members wearing attractive uniforms in Downtown Nassau. The parade includes Junkanoo performers as well as local bands playing lively music. The procession ends at the Southern Recreation Grounds where politicians and Union leaders give speeches. In the afternoon, most Bahamians stay home or visit the beach to unwind and relax.

#5 Independence Day

Though Independence Day is on the 10th July, celebrations are held throughout the week. Concerts and festivals can be enjoyed by tourists and locals alike almost every night. The day itself is filled with exciting festivities, fabulous parades, and an amazing fireworks display. The performances by different bands, the speeches of the dignitaries, and other highlights throughout the week are featured throughout Bahamas news.

#6 Emancipation Day

This holiday is also known as August Monday and is commemorated on the first Monday in the month of August. To commemorate the day that slavery was abolished, Junkanoos, sailing, regattas, and hanging out at the beach are the highlighted activities. Fox Hill Village, which is a former slave village, often has its own grand celebration.

#7 Discovery Day

This Bahamas holiday celebrates the day that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. It takes place on October 12. There is an ongoing debate on whether to change the holiday to Hero’s Day in honor of Bahamian National Heroes who have helped build the nation to what it is today. For now, a small ceremony is traditionally held in honor of these people at Rawson Square in Nassau.

#8 Christmas Day

Christmas, even without the snow or the token mistletoe, is avidly celebrated in the Bahamas. The usual activities such as eating great food, going to family gatherings, and giving each other presents are part of Bahamian tradition.

#9 Boxing Day

Boxing Day takes place on the day after Christmas. The holiday originated from when the slaves were given several days off after Christmas to spend with their families and were gifted with the boxes that used to hold their master’s Christmas gifts. Entertaining Junkanoo parades can be seen in some of the Bahamas islands. The parades usually start in the early morning hours where participants dressed in colorful, feathery costumes dance in formation.








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Category: People and Culture, The Bahamas

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