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Junkanoo 2023

Thousands of Nassau residents dance in the streets during the main festival of the year with a twist of carnival and masquerade ball

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Junkanoo is a vibrant street celebration featuring music, dancing, and colorful costumes representing the Akan culture of the Bahamas. The parade occurs on Boxing Day (December 26) and also on New Year's Day (January 1). Nassau (located on the island of New Providence) holds the largest and most popular Junkanoo parade.

Junkanoo is the original festival of Garifuna people known for a certain type of dancing that is performed in the Bahamas on all major holidays. The dances are accompanied with the beat of goatskin Maranga drums and cowbells. Many dancers wear colorful horned masks.

Allegedly, the festival originated several centuries ago. The timing of its celebration is explained by the fact that slaves who worked on plantations were granted a holiday during Christmas. Over time, it evolved into a formal parade with special music and traditions.

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