Bahamas JunkanooThe Bahamas
December 26 – January 1
Need an excuse take a vacation in the Bahamas? Mark your calendars for Junkanoo or Jonkonnu, a Caribbean celebration that takes place all over the Grand Bahamas Island on the day after Christmas, and then again one week later on New Year’s Day. The biggest parade takes place in Nassau.
What is Junkanoo? There is debate over whether the name comes from “John Canoe,” an important figure in Bahamian history, or if it’s a Creole word derived from “gens inconnu,” French for “unknown people.” All you need to know is Junkanoo is a huge street –side festival celebrating Bahamian culture and a party worthy of ringing in the new year. Think big time shindigs, full of costumes and floats, like Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
Since many have time off during the holiday season, late December is the perfect time to hit up a warm Caribbean destination before you’re due back at the daily grind. A few days of parties, dancing, and live music in an island paradise should be enough to re-energize you for another year. And don’t worry: There are many activities around Junkanoo that are fun for children (under the supervision of a trusted adult) and live Bahamian-style “goombay” music the entire family will want to move and shake to. The festivities culminate in the grand Junkanoo Parade which features a string of elaborate floats and the locals in full costume, complete with ornate head-dresses and lasts well into the night.
Start the New Year off on the right foot and look into Nassau vacation rentals during Junkanoo. Celebrations take place all over the Bahamas so expand your search to include Grand Bahamas and surrounding areas.