by Shaq Gibson 2 min read
While the rest of the Northern Hemisphere paints an idyllic picture of a “White Christmas” The Bahamas bursts into a myriad of color and life with its annual Junkanoo Carnival. As if the cold wasn’t a good enough reason to visit Harbour Island during the holidays, Junkanoo, observed on Boxing Day (December 26th) and New Years Day (January 1st), keeps the cultural heritage of the Bahamas alive!
History of Junkanoo
The Junkanoo tradition was started by the first African Bahamians that arrived in the Bahamas. It’s been documented as a joyous celebration for the last 200 years. In the early days, African settlers and slaves used whatever was available. Sponge, straw, flowers, leaves, feathers, anything that’s indigenous was fair game. Now, the main material used is (believe it or not) card board!
What is Junkanoo?
Junkanoo is a joyous traditional style of dance and attire that’s celebrated every year on two days during the holiday season. The carnival consists of a street procession of characters in traditional attire made of feathers, fabric, and other ornamental materials.
We can’t forget to mention the music that is sure to keep you dancing all night long. You’ll hear bells, drums, and whistles to set to traditional beats. In true carnival style, all the participants are dancing to choreography and bring an energy to the island that HAS to be experienced.
We recommend you bring your dancing shoes! This event is kid-tested and mom-approved, so you can make it a family affair and make memories with locals that will keep you coming back to Harbour Island year after year.
Where is Junkanoo on Harbour Island?
The parade route for Junkanoo is all along Bay Street in Dunmore Town. The parade typically starts around 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. Many hotels on the island also host their own Junkanoo celebration, our concierge team will have all the latest updates on these events when you arrive on the island!
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