Posts Tagged ‘grand bahama junkaroo festival’
The Grand Bahama Junkaroo Summer Festival begins this July 7th and runs until July 28th. It’s a fantastic time for visitors wishing to experience the island’s culture to arrive. Over four weeks, a spectacle of multi-coloured parades, feel-good indigenous music and culture fill the streets. It’s an important time in the Bahamian calendar, when thousands of islanders dress up in specially made costumes and masks to celebrate the centuries-old festival.
Activities will centre on Taino Beach Park, a popular hub for the island festivals.
Junkaroo recognises the history of the slave trade in the Bahamas and is thought to have first began somewhere between the 16th and 17th centuries. It was around that time that slaves were granted 3 days off: December 25th and 26th, and January 1st. In a celebration of freedom from the shackles of hard labour, the island’s slaves poured onto the streets to blow off steam.
Rhythmic beats from goatskin drums fill the atmosphere in commemoration of the slaves who once stretched goatskin across specially crafted drums. Historically, the slaves made musical instruments like drums from cast-off items like food containers. Today’s musicians, in honour of their ancestors, use similar methods.
Due to popularity, the festival has since grown to include summer vacation months. During this time, hoards of celebrants take to the streets in wild oceans of colour that have been compared to Brazil’s Mardi Gras.
The event is Co-ordinated by the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, and is widely attended by the local population and enthralled tourists.
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