Junkanoo is a street parade with music that takes place in many towns across the Bahamas every Boxing Day and New Year's Day with the largest parade happening in the capital of Nassau. The name's origins are disputed, but one of the better guesses is that the festival is named after John Canoe, a slave brought over from Africa who asked to be allowed a tribal celebration from home. As aresult, in the 16th and 17th centuries slaves were given special permission to leave their plantations for Junkanoo, and to gather together and celebrate as they saw fit. A colourful demonstration of the Bahamas' African Diaspora culture, Junkanoo is a great arena for Bahamian goombay music and local costumes; the nation's freedom and past is also celebrated through this event. Organized groups get together for weeks before the event, planning and assmbling their floats and costumes. The groups are judged every year in different categories - an A categoru, a B category, and a fun category, with specific groups allocated to each category. Incidentally, a Nassau Junkanoo parade is featured in the James Bond film Thunderball, although it was the wrong time of the year for Junaknoo. Locals decided to join in with film makers' request for a bit of a festival, and put on a full-blown Junkanoo.
Date: 26 December 2011 to 1 January 2012