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Junkanoo 2022: Date, History and How to celebrate

Junkanoo is a street parade with music, costumes, and dancing that occurs in many towns across the Bahamas on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year's Day (January 1).

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Junkanoo is a spectacular and colorful carnival that takes place in the Bahamas on December 26th. It’s an event that brings together thousands of people to celebrate with music, dance, costumes, and food. Junkanoo originated centuries ago as a celebration of freedom from slavery during colonial times. Today, it has become a national holiday where Bahamians come together in the streets to create an unforgettable experience. In this blog post, we will explore Junkanoo and all the amazing things it has to offer on December 26th. From its fascinating history to its vibrant modern culture, learn more about Junkanoo and why you should experience it at least once!

What is Junkanoo?

Junkanoo is a street parade with music, costumes, and dancing that occurs in many towns across the Bahamas on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day (January 1).

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It is also celebrated in some areas of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and in parts of the United States with Bahamian populations, such as Florida.

The exact origins of Junkanoo are unknown, but it is thought to have been influenced by African, English, and French traditions. The word “Junkanoo” may come from a West African tribe called the Yoruba, who were brought to the Bahamas as slaves. The Yoruba people had a festival called Olokun which featured music, dancing, and costumes. Another theory is that Junkanoo is derived from the English word “john crow,” which was used to describe a bogeyman who would steal children if they misbehaved.

Whatever its origins, Junkanoo has become an important part of Bahamian culture. It is a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate. Junkanoo groups spend months preparing their costumes and instruments for the parades. The costumes are colorful and often very elaborate, featuring feathers, sequins, beads, and other decorations. Many people wear masks made of cardboard or paper mâché. The music is lively and upbeat, featuring drums, cowbells, horns, and whistles.

The History of Junkanoo

The History of Junkanoo
Junkanoo is an annual street festival that takes place in The Bahamas on December 26th and New Year’s Day. It is a vibrant and colourful parade that celebrates African heritage and culture, with participants dressing up in elaborate costumes and dancing to the sound of drums.

The origins of Junkanoo are uncertain, but it is thought to have been started by enslaved Africans who were given time off from their work on these holidays. It was a time for them to celebrate their culture and religion, which was often suppressed by their owners. The word “junkanoo” is likely derived from the Twi term “john canoes”, which refers to a type of mask worn by some of the participants.

Over the years, Junkanoo has evolved into a more organized event, with groups competing for cash prizes in categories such as best costume, best music and best overall performance. However, it remains a joyful celebration of African heritage that brings people of all backgrounds together.

How Junkanoo is Celebrated Today

Junkanoo is celebrated in many Caribbean countries today, but it is most well-known in The Bahamas. On New Year’s Eve and Boxing Day (December 26th), groups of people come together to parade through the streets dressed in colorful costumes, playing music and dancing.

The origins of Junkanoo are unclear, but it is thought to have originated with the slaves who were brought to the Bahamas from Africa. The word “jankunu” or “john cano” was used by the slaves to describe a festival that they held on their days off.

Over time, Junkanoo has evolved into a national festival that is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. The costumes and music have become more elaborate, and the parade now includes floats and various performing groups.

Despite its African roots, Junkanoo is a uniquely Bahamian tradition that is an important part of the country’s culture and identity.

What to Expect if You Attend a Junkanoo Celebration

If you attend a Junkanoo celebration, you can expect to see people dressed in colorful costumes dancing to the music of drums, cowbells, and horns. The costumes are often made of paper and feathers, and they can be very elaborate. You may also see people wearing masks and painting their faces in bright colors.


In conclusion, Junkanoo is an amazing cultural experience that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy at least once. As you can see, it’s a great way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family while enjoying beautiful costumes and vibrant music. With December 26th being the biggest day for Junkanoo in The Bahamas, we hope this article has given you all the information needed to make sure your next Junkanoo celebration is one for the books!


Year Date Day
2022 December 26 Monday
2023 January 1 Sunday
2023 December 26 Tuesday
2024 January 1 Monday
2024 December 26 Thursday
2025 January 1 Wednesday
2025 December 26 Friday
2026 January 1 Thursday
2026 December 26 Saturday
2022 December 26 Boxing Day
2022 December 26 Kwanzaa
2022 December 26 National Thankyou Note Day
2022 December 26 Day of Goodwill
2022 December 26 Junkanoo
2022 December 26 National Candy Cane Day
2022 December 26 National Homeowners Day
2022 December 26 National Whiners Day
2022 December 26 Slovenia Independence and Unity Day
2022 December 26 St. Stephen’s Day


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