Beyond the white sandy beaches and illustrious weather, the Bahamas has a palpable culture. If you are traveling to the Bahamas with us at Peace & Plenty (one of the top-rated Exuma hotels), you will be able to dive right into ours. One of the largest celebrations every year is Junkanoo. It blends fashion, dance, and music into one all-encompassing event that is like nowhere else in the world.
The origins of Junkanoo are still unknown to this day. The most popular theory revolves around the legend of John Canoe. As the story goes, he was an African tribal chief who demanded to celebrate with his folk after they were brought to the West Indies for slavery. There are other theories as well consisting of a French phrase that describes “masked people,” and a separate tradition from across the world in South Nigeria, but what we do know is it began during the 16th and 17th with basic costumes and face paintings. Today it has evolved to be more commercialized and stylish, but the celebration is just as strong in the community.
What is Junkanoo?
To simplify, Junkanoo is a national festival of the Bahamas with great music, costumes, and colors. There are parades with groups up to 1,000 people performing brilliant dance routines. It is held on many of the Family Islands on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas), and New Year’s Morning. However, because of the immense popularity of the festival, the Bahamas have selected dates in the middle of the year also to celebrate Junkanoo, allowing you to enjoy it in the summer months! The closest celebration locations from Exuma hotels is in Georgetown for the winter celebration and Smith’s Point Beach in the summer.
Premier Exuma Hotels
If you are going to make a trip to Smith’s Point Beach from Peace & Plenty, feel free to stop at Thunderball Grotto where you will be able to see a natural wonder and take great pictures! Make your fist Junkanoo Summer experience at one of our Exuma hotels unforgettable when you breathe in our culture and jive along to the beat!