It doesn’t get any wilder (or more colourful) than this.
Celebrating Bahamian pride in its truest form, is the Junkanoo Parade. The beginning of the year is lauded in spectacular fashion of colours, goomday drums, costumes and two massive parades across Bay Street in Nassau. The first celebration takes place on boxing day, followed by the bigger on January 1.
The origins of this beautiful festival come from Africans who were brought across the Atlantic to be slaves. Once settled in The Bahamas, they brought their own age-old traditions of song and dance culminating into the Junkanoo Parade. As of the oldest street festival, the actual story began when slaves decorated themselves with thrown away materials and painted their faces with paste made from flour and cereal.
Back in the 17 century a village chieftain by the name of John Canoe was instrumental in getting some rights for the slaves of the Carribean. He made sure his people would be given three days during Christmas and the right to celebrate their own traditions.
The Junkanoo Parades transform the streets of Nassau into streams of colour and revelery. Everything about the festival is loud, outrageous, colourful and absolutely fun. Much like the Rio Carnival or Mardi Gras, the whole nation unites behind this festival making it a national holiday, too. Months prior to the festival, costumes have to be made, contests have to be prepared for and dance routines have to be practiced.
Similar to the Rio Carnival, the competition between national level dance groups is quite tight with groups like Roots and One Family, Saxons and Prodigal sons being among the top ten.