This festival is held on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Years Day. We were so fortunate to be in Eleuthera during this special time. We had hard time pinning down the time and location of a local Junkanoo, but Will got the scoop from his local fishing guide.
Tarpum Bay, Christmas Eve around 11:00pm would be place to be. However, Kalee and I faded from the day long activities. We were so sorry later but next time we will know.
Randy and Will headed out. The party was about 30 minutes away. They loved it.
They felt there were probably over 1000 people celebrating, dancing, and enjoying.
All ages, all excited and happily celebrating this wonderful event . What fun!!!
Junkanoo supposedly began as a temporary celebration of freedom by slaves, who were given three days off Christmas and spent the time wearing scary masks, ringing cow bells, playing homemade instruments and basically letting off steam. The tradition that began in the 16th or 17th century has continued on and is a very important event in Bahamian culture.
There are different tales about the origin of the word Junkanoo. It seems the most popular belief is that it is derived from "John Canoe". He was an African tribal chief who was brought to the West Indies as a slave. "John Canoe" demanded every year that he been given the right to celebrate the holidays with his people. Masks of "John Canoe" are always very prominent still today in many of the celebrations.
The next morning, we all enjoyed our breakfast in front of our TV watching the Junkanoo festivities in Nassau. What a fun colorful tradition.