What is Junkanoo

Junkanoo festival in The Bahamas
    Although the roots of the Junkanoo parade remain subject to long and passionate debates, what is agreed is that, after centuries of practice, today's cultural extravaganzas have become the most entertaining street carnivals of not only The Bahamas, but also the world at large.


    With the costumes, dance and music inspired by a different theme each time, preparations for the Boxing Day, New Year's Day and summer time Junkanoo literally take months and bring together men and women from all different walks of life.


The history of The Bahamas Junkanoo

    Legend has it that you haven't needed an excuse to party in The Bahamas for well over 500 years. But ask folks here at the top of the Caribbean how The Bahamas Junkanoo Tradition got started and they'll all tell you a different story; with many believing it was established by John Canoe, a legendary West African Prince, who outwitted the English and became a local hero; and others suspecting it comes from the French ‘gens inconnus,’ which translates as 'unknown' or 'masked people'.


    The most popular belief, however, is that it developed from the days of slavery. The influx of Loyalists in the late 18th Century brought many enslaved people who were given three days off at Christmas, which they celebrated by singing and dancing in colourful masks, travelling from house to house, often on stilts. Junkanoo nearly vanished after slavery was abolished but the revival of the festival in The Bahamas now provides entertainment for many thousands.


What happens at Junkanoo

    Long before the spectacular 'rush-out', the exuberant Junkanoo dance troupes - groups of up to 1,000 - will have been busy rehearsing their dazzling routines. The musicians will have perfected the hypnotic rhythms they'll perform day and night on a cacophony of goatskin drums, cowbells, whistles and horns, and the imaginative costume designers will have worked non-stop to weave their own special magic with beautifully coloured crepe paper and cardboard.


    As the Junkanoo parade moves through the streets of downtown Nassau and the out-Islands in the early hours of the morning (generally from 2am to 10am), the energy of the dancers and the beat of the music motivates the vast crowds of supporters and spectators to start moving in their seats, or on their feet, or in the trees, or on balconies - wherever they have found a spot from which to watch this soul-stirring festival! At the end of the famous Junkanoo procession, judges award cash prizes for the best music, best costume and best overall group presentation.



Where to experience Junkanoo  

    The liveliest and largest of the sensational Bahamas Junkanoo party parades is in Nassau, but you can also experience the intoxicating carnival atmosphere on Grand Bahama Island, Eleuthera/Harbour Island, Bimini, The Exumas and The Abacos.

And whether it’s the children’s rush or the big parade, you will be treated to an incredible splash of colourful splendour.


     So time your visit to our islands to be here for Junkanoo and you’ll be more than welcome to jump in, enjoy the beat, feel the rush and have some fun!


....Live Band....

Phone: 954-000-0000




Or use our contact form.


Fort Lauderdale, Florida


"Sexy Tee"




Lounge Hours

Mon-Sun 12noon - 2am

Sign up for Grand Opening date & News

(click here)

Print | Sitemap
© Bahamas Junkanoo Lounge