The Bahamas is a popular destination for many reasons.
While the majority of people travel to the Bahamas for the incredible scenery, near-perfect temperatures and abundance of outdoor activities, the various festivals, holidays and events are often overlooked and can really enhance your experience.
The Bahamian people are steeped in culture and tradition, both of which can be seen through the annual festivals and celebrated holidays. From the New Year’s Junkanoo parade, to Independence Day celebrations, to various sailing regattas, there are plenty of events that make this archipelago special.
If you happen to find yourself visiting the islands during one of these lively festivals or entertaining events, count yourself as lucky.
Here are just a few of the most popular traditions that occur on an annual basis, so be sure to keep them in mind when planning your next vacation!
NEW YEAR’S JUNKANOO CELEBRATION
Like many places in the world, New Year’s Day is celebrated in a big way. The annual celebration includes a parade featuring traditional Junkanoo dancing and music on most islands, including Abaco, Grand Bahama and Great Exuma.
The parade in Nassau is considered to be the biggest and best, kicking thing off at night and going strong through 8am. The Nassau parade is actually a fierce competition between several rival Junkanoo clubs. A similar Junkanoo festival takes place at Christmas.
INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Held each year on October 18th and 19th, the International Cultural Festival is an opportunity to sample a multitude of foods at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Nassau.
The capital city of the Bahamas is home to a fairly diverse group of people. This event brings out all the varied cultures on this small island for two days of fun. It is also a chance to mingle not only with tourists, but also with Bahamians and foreigners who call Nassau home.
You can learn more about the International Cultural Festival by visiting its website.
There are many different regattas that take place on an annual basis throughout the Bahamas.
To name a few:
– The Annual Valentine Massacre Regatta on Nassau/Paradise Island in mid-February
– The George Town Cruising Regatta in the Exumas
– The Family Island Regatta
– The Long Island Sailing Regatta
– The North Eleutera Sailing Regatta
– The Christmas Sailing Regatta
Given that the Bahamas is an archipelagic nation, it only makes sense that events involving boats would take center stage. If you have a boat or yacht of your own, these regattas are an ideal time to visit the country. You can also charter a boat for such an event, or even just travel to the various islands and take part in the festivities on dry land.
Who knows, you might just get invited on board a super yacht.
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