A Cultural Trip: Junkanoo

Here in the Bahamas we like to bring in the New Year with culture! It was Junkanoo Season and we ended 2017 with a bang.


For those that never had the pleasure of hearing our goatskin drums and cowbells, or seeing our hand constructed costumes and colourful feathers, Junkanoo was named after the West African John Canoe Festival. It originated in the 17th Century as a masquerade where slaves would hide their faces under a flour paste mask and celebrated on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas.

Today, as a cultural expression, Junkanoo is highly revered.  From June or July on, participating groups such as the Valley Boys, The Saxons, One Family and Roots, create elaborate costumes and floats from cardboard, wire, styrofoam, feathers and paper mache.

junkanoo-2As our National Festival, it takes place during Boxing Day and on New Years Day. We ‘rush’ down Bay Street to the sounds of shrieking whistles, shaking cowbells and beating drums echo through the air.  When the rush is over, prizes are then awarded later in the day to groups with best costumes, music and theme portrayal.

If you can’t make it during the holidays, don’t worry! Throughout the year we have mini festivals with different Junkanoo groups that’ll transport you into a kaleidoscope of colours and sound.

Everyone here at HG Christie wants to send a big congratulations to the winners of the past Junkanoo season, which were Roots for Boxing Day and Saxons for New Years Day! We can’t express how much we admire the hard work involved in what you do!

Looking for an authentic Bahamian experience? Book your tickets here:

To learn more about Junkanoo use these helpful links:





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