The popular festivals in the Bahamas are closely related to its cultural wealth. Of the more than seven hundred islands which make up the country, only 24 are inhabited, but they are enough to mark a very complete calendar of festivities.
In order to understand the festivities and popular festivals of the Bahamas, we must bear in mind that the Bahamian population is a melting pot of different native customs. Taking into account that at present the population of the Bahamas is mostly of African origin, it is not surprising that their festivities have very important traditional roots.
The rest of the Bahamians are British, Americans and Canadians, who also contribute a little to the culture of this Caribbean country. Let's see, month by month, what the main popular festivals of the Bahamas are and what they consist of.
In the Bahamas, on 1st January, the New Year is celebrated, like in most of the rest of the world. However, the people of the Bahamas introduce their own tradition into the celebration of the New Year. For almost a whole day they devote themselves to the Junkanoo, a unique festival of the Bahamas, which is also celebrated on 26th December. Parades of elaborate costumes with percussion music and dances take to the streets.
From 24th to 26th February, the Rum Festival in Nassau is celebrated, an authentic display of popular music, accompanied by tastings of authentic Bahamian rum. You can try different types of rum, as well as various dishes of the island's cuisine, while dancing to the rhythms of more traditional music.
March and April
In March, an important rugby championship takes place, the Bahamas National Rugby Sevens Team. This national championship attracts all fans of this sport to Nassau. If you don't like this sport, don't worry, because from 9th to 11th March the Bahamian Music & Heritage Festival takes place, with exhibitions, crafts, concerts and all kinds of cultural events.
In April, on the other hand, the most important event in the Bahamas is the National Family Island Regatta. A sailing championship whose tradition dates back to 1954, and which is one of the oldest traditions of the islands.
The month of May hosts different popular festivals in the Bahamas, including a Caribbean Music Festival, as well as the Jazz By The Sea festival. Other events take place, such as the Creative Nassau Market, where you can taste Bahamian cuisine, listen to traditional music and buy crafts in one of its many stalls.
The Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival takes place from 4th to 6th May in Nassau, so you can enjoy a lot of music, dance, gastronomy and visual arts events.
If you travel to the Bahamas in June, you can't miss two of the most iconic Bahamian events. First of all, the Pineapple Festival, which takes place from 1st to 5th June in Eleuthera. From cooking contests, to concerts, dances and sporting events around this tropical fruit, they all take place on the island.
And to continue with the gastronomic tastings, from 8th to 10th June, you can go to the Andros Crab Fest. The island of Andros, also known as the Land of Crabs, hosts this unique popular festival based around the crustacean. Contests, tastings, and lots of music and dancing accompany the event.
July and August
The summer months are also the protagonists of more well-known popular festivals in the Bahamas, such as Carnival Jumpin'n Jammin, Independence Day and Emancipation Day.
Jumpin'n Jammin is a carnival which runs from 25th July to 2nd August. A hullabaloo of parades, music and outdoor parties take over the island of Antigua for the enjoyment of locals and visitors.
Around 10th July, however, the Bahamian event that should be highlighted is the National Independence Day. The authorities hold numerous parades and events throughout the day, which ends with fireworks. The same goes for Emancipation Day on the first Monday of August.
But if there is a holiday in the Bahamas which we can highlight in August, it's the Goombay Summer Festival. This festival hosts many fairs, dance competitions, parades, and parties on the beach, as well as cultural and sports events.
September and October
We continue with the festivities of the Bahamas to go to the Great Bahamas Seafood Festival, another festival related to the cuisine of marine origin. And we arrive on 12th October, when the famous Discovery Day is celebrated, which commemorates the time when the Arawak Indians discovered European sailors on their shores.
November and December
Film lovers will enjoy the Caribbean Film Festival if they are in the Bahamas, specifically in Nassau, Eleuthera or Grand Bahama Island, from 2nd to 5th November.
You already know the popular festivals of Bahamas and when they are celebrated, now all you have to do is plan your trip so that you can enjoy some of them.