One of our big reasons for getting to George Town by January was so we could see the Exuma Junkanoo parade!

Junkanoo is a cultural festival that is celebrated in most notably in Jamaica, Belize, and the Bahamas (amongst other places!) It originated during the time of African slavery in British American colonies, and has evolved over the years into a formal parade with intricate costumes, music, and dancing, and with a competition between several parading groups. Often the parades are held on Boxing Day (December 26) or New Year’s Day, but in the Exumas, the parade was scheduled for January 6th.

The only drawback to our plan for seeing Junkanoo was that the parade was scheduled to start at 8:30 pm. We had also heard it actually might start even later, and could drag on into the wee hours. Since 8:30 is about the time Cecelia is usually snuggling up in bed, we decided it was best if she went to a sleepover with a friend on another boat (thanks, Lucky crew!) This way, Patrick and I would be able to enjoy the evening without dragging a tired kid around, or having to suddenly cut our night short. She wasn’t terribly excited about seeing it anyway…so maybe next time when she’s a bit older!

The parade did start a little bit late, but not too late. We actually only saw the first two groups perform before we decided to call it a night ourselves, around 10:30. The first group, the Musical Youths, had a China theme for their parade. The second group, the Crusaders, chose “fashion brands” for their theme. The third group (the one we didn’t see) was the Warriors, and they also had a China theme. I wonder which group chose China first?! We heard the next day that the Warriors won the competition, so they must have been really awesome, because the first two groups were great!

Junkanoo was just incredible! The costumes, the floats, the music, the dancing! It was pretty much impossible not to move your body to the drums and beats as the performers passed by. I took a ton of photos, and I hope some of them managed to capture what the experience was like. We were so glad we made the effort to attend, and hopefully next time Cecelia will be up for the challenge of staying up late! Enjoy the photos…

One Reply to “Junkanoo!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *