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El Carnaval de Junkanoo es una expresión cultural que se realiza en las Bahamas desde hace décadas
Junkanoo Carnival, The Bahamas
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Sint Maarten Carnival, Netherlands

 

What is Bahamas Carnival?

Carnival of the Bahamas is an annual event that occurs every year in the city of Nassau, The Bahamas. Today the Carnival of the Bahamas is a festive destination that offers an intense experience, full of cultural manifestations that uniquely incorporates the traditional carnival festivities from around the world, but with a touch of Bahamian flavor.

Every year, locals and visitors from all over the world flock toThe Bahamas to be part of all the events and activities that are organized. The Bahamas Carnivals have a good repertoire of events that will surely make you experience one of the best carnivals you have ever had in your life. Events and fetes (parties) occur every day and take place during the 4 days of celebration in which you can enjoy local sounds, DJs and big shows.

 

 

Bahamas Carnival is a high-end entertainment experience that sets the stage for performers to express themselves in front of a large audience. Carnival is not simply a series of events and parties, it is a complete experience of culture and fun.

The festivities have in total 4 major events, which occur every day. Most of these Soca parties and Concerts; however, there is also a Grand Parade in which people wear the distinctive costumes or outfits of “Mas Bands” full of colors, feathers and sparkles.

 

Bahamas Carnival is a continuous party of great events during the 4 days of celebration

Bahamas Carnival is a continuous party of great events during the 4 days of celebration

 

When is Bahamas Carnival

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The Bahamas Carnival is usually celebrated inlate April and early May, fulfilling a 4-day celebration schedule. During the carnivals there are daily theme parties, the parade and the J’ouvert.

 

 

History of Bahamian Carnivals

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Carnival celebrations date back centuries and carried a deeply religious meaning, as they marked the period before Lent, when the fasting period was established. That is why the days preceding Lent were mainly used tocelebrate and eat everything you could and do everything that was forbidden before the religious celebrations.

Carnival is a celebration that originates particularly in Europe which was then taken to other regions of the planet through the colonizers. The Caribbean was one of the areas where the celebrations of carnival penetrated much deeper. Over time, the European traditions merged with those of the natives and the Africans who were brought for forced labor in the fields, resulting in the carnivals we know today.



After the emancipation of the Caribbean, the festivities took on more of their own elements and each country took it upon themselves to add their own personal touch to the festivities that manifested the different cultural elements. The Bahamas was no exception, which is why carnivals in the country also carry with them a deep feeling of identity and culture..

Carnivals in The Bahamas have been constantly growing, acquiring new elements such as the fetes or fetes, parades and the characteristic J’ouvert. Today the Bahamian Carnivals are held every year and claim to be the most important celebrations in the country with the big events and the best entertainment.

 

Where is Bahamas Carnival

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The Bahamas Carnival is held in Nassau, capital of The Bahamas, the Caribbean. The Bahamas is located north of the Island of Cuba and northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Today the city of Nassau constitutes 70% of the total population of The Bahamas.

 

People wear their Mas Band outfits for the Bahamas Road March

People wear their Mas Band outfits for the Bahamas Road March

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How is Bahamas Carnival celebrated

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Bahamian carnivals feature a fairly full repertoire of activities, which mainly consists of themed parties, competitions, food, drink, parades and the traditional Caribbean J’ouvert. Every day of the carnivals there are parties from early morning until dawn.

Among the celebrations that stand out most within the festivities are the following:

 

J’ouvert

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It is a carnival celebration that is celebrated in many other Caribbean countries and carnival parties with Caribbean motifs. This is an event of great cultural value, as it is a display of expression that materialized after theabolition of slavery and a manifestation of freedom. Usually, the celebration takes place early in the morning to welcome a new day of festivities. Also, the entire event is entertained by severalmusic groups of the highest quality.

 

Insomnia

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It is the first of the festive musical events. During the event, several artists perform and will make you dance and party all night long. The event is full ofcolors, lights and good vibes.

 

Amnesia

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The hype continues with much more force during the second day and the Amnesia celebration. Several international artists congregate to deliver the best entertainment on the island and guarantee you thebest music of the event.

 

Unleash

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The last event to close the Carnival of the Bahamas with a bang. During the Unleash the artists go all out, offering a totally new concept of what the Carnival party is all about.

 

Last Lap

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Last Lap is the closing event of the carnival. Last Lap means last lap; that is, the last chance people have to celebrate the carnivals before they end.

 

Bandas Mas

Bandas Mas is a large number of people who wear excellent costumes and outfits with a lot of colors, glitter and feathers. Traditionally, these outfits are made by a particular company or designer and are crucial elements for the celebration of carnivals.

People pay to purchase the outfits which come with other services such as entertainment, products and drinks. In addition, the bands come in a wide variety of designs, colors and themes.

Some of the Mas Bands you can find at Bahamas Carnival are:

 

Feeling Feteish

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A band for the younger crowd. It represents energetic colors and accessible, but with a flamboyant touch.

 

Bahamas Masqueraders

It was designed with the desire to share more strongly the culture, music, food and beauty of The Bahamas.

 

Karisma Bahamas Carnival Company

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The band focuses on a design that brings out the beauty of nature.

 

Euphoria Madness

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It has a good number of designs called Zulu, Tuareg and Igbo. It features garments for both men and women.

 

Enigma Carnival

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Offers garments and creative entertainment taking reference to music, magic, color, fashion, imagination and festivity.

 

Barabbas Carnival Tribe

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This band seeks to promote the culture of the Bahamas through costumes, dancing and music. They have been crowned in three choices as the best ensembles.

 

Xtreme Junkanoo Carnival Band

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It offers a wide variety of merchandise. The sets comprise a great deal of glitz and detail.

 

Hypnotic Mas Band

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This Mas Band seeks to generate the best carnival entertainment experience. Their sets offer great color combinations and decorations.

 

Reckless Pirates Bahamas Carnival

Their goal is to develop a true carnival experience through customer friendly outfits, but at the same time capturing the true spirit of carnival.

 

Rhythms MasBand

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Designed for the true fans of carnival and soca music. The band has been in operation since 1997. In addition, its goal is to raise awareness of the culture of The Bahamas.

 

 

Tips for going to the Bahamas Carnivals

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If you wish to attend the Bahamas Carnivals, we recommend you to plan your trip in advance, make an itinerary of activities and book your preferred accommodation in advance.

In addition, we recommend you to pack comfortable shoes and clothes so you can fully enjoy your carnivals. Also, if it is within your financial means, we encourage you to purchase your Mas Bands package and actively participate in the carnivals, since this is where you will experience firsthand all that the celebrations have to offer.

If you cannot count on the purchase of the Mas Band package, you can still enjoy a good carnival experience, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing the package.

Remember that the physical activity, the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the heat of the carnival season makes you dehydrate very quickly, so we recommend that you carry a thermos with water to keep you hydrated at all times. Also, remember to apply sunscreen every 30 minutes.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country, I recommend this guide:

 

Events at Carnival in the Bahamas

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The Bahamas Carnival celebrations begin with the traditionalJ’ouvert celebration held one day before the first big event. The J’ouvert begins at 9:00 pm and ends at 3:00 am the following day, following the tradition of celebrating in the early morning hours.

Afterwards, some cultural activities take place, leading up to the first big Insomnia event. In addition, during the day there are some other themed parties that take up the whole day, from 4:00 pm until 12:30 am the next day.

 

 

On the second day of celebration the Road March or Grand Carnival Parade takes place. The event begins at approximately 10:00 am and ends at sunset. In addition, the second big event or carnival party called Amnesia is held on the same day.

Finally, the last day of the celebrations is occupied by the third and final Grand Event of the carnivals called Unleash. At the end of the event, the closing eventLast Lap is held, which brings the carnivals to an end. In addition, some other celebrations such as food and water and foam war also take place during the day.

 

People party in the streets wearing Mas Bands outfits

People party in the streets wearing Mas Bands outfits

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Bahamian Carnival Parades

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The parade or Road March takes place with the participation of all the Mas Bands that make up the carnivals. People are grouped depending on the type of ensemble they are wearing and advance all together through the main streets of Nasáu. The day is celebrated in a total party atmosphere, full of Soca music, DJs, presenters, entertainment and drinks.

The streets become one big multicolored spectacle, full of themed costumes made in the best way and full of decorations, feathers and glitter.

 

Parade route

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Bahamas Carnival includes the parade, the J'ouvert and 3 big musical events

Bahamas Carnival includes the parade, the J’ouvert and 3 big musical events

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The main parade or Road March takes place through the main roads of the city, while the different events or theme parties are held in the vicinity of Clifford Park, The Western Esplanade and Arawak Cay.

 

Johnny cakes are breads or biscuits that can be eaten alone or as an outline

Johnny cakes are breads or biscuits that can be eaten alone or as an outline

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What to eat at Carnival in the Bahamas

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One of the traditional Bahamian foods is Johnny cake, a bread made with flour, sugar, butter and water. Once all the ingredients have been kneaded together, it is baked until it is slightly browned. The bread is eaten on its own or as an accompaniment to soups and other dishes. This food has been present in Bahamian cuisine since 1725 and previously included corn; however, the recipe has ceased to include corn since the 20th century.

Bahamian cuisine also includes Bahamian grouper, which is a fish that can be fried, sautéed or grilled. It is usually served with Johnny cake or other side dishes.

In addition, the city of Nassau offers a large number of places where you can go to eat and try its varied menu of dishes. Some of the most famous are: Sapodilla, Dali Rotisserie & Grill, Twisted Lime Sports Bar and Grill, Blue Sail and Luciano’s of Chicago. These restaurants offer a menu of national, international, seafood, Caribbean and grill food.

 

Fried grouper is one of the most common dishes in the Bahamas

Fried grouper is one of the most common dishes in the Bahamas

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Travel Insurance

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From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside Bahamas Carnival

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Within the carnivals you have a plethora of activities in which you can participate. The celebrations feature some minor events such as themed parties in which you can participate. In addition, some contests and live performances are also held.

The most important events are the 3 major music, concert and entertainment events. The Insomnia, Amnesia and Unleash make up a trilogy of events that are what give life to the Bahamian carnivals. Within the events you can enjoy several hours of concerts by various national and international artists and DJs.

In addition, you can also attend the traditional Caribbean J’ouvert, which is a celebration that takes place mainly in the early morning. Finally, there is the Road March or the Grand Parade that crosses the main access roads of the city.

If you have the opportunity to apurchase the Mas Bands package, we advise you to buy it, as it will allow you to be part of events, concert and entertainment that will take the carnival celebrations to another level.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside of the Bahamas Carnivals

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The city of Nassau has a large number of tourist attractions, some of these are:

 

John Watling’s Distillery

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It is a distillery located in the historic center of the city. It mainly processes rum and other alcoholic beverages. The distillery was founded in 1789 and offers tours where you can see the production process, the museum and buy some exclusive bottles from the premises.

 

Queen’s Staircase

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This is a staircase comprising 65 steps. The stairs were carved out of limestone and the work was done by the island’s slaves. Each of the steps represents a year of reign by Queen Victoria.

 

Junkanoo Beach

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It is one of the most popular beaches on the island. It is a beach of fine white sands with clear turquoise water. It is located near the cruise port and in its vicinity are several local food, drink, massage and many other services.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your entrance ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety in the Bahamas Carnivals

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The city of Nassau presents some problems with security in its jurisdiction. In fact, it is one of the cities with the highest crime rate. However, most of the crimes are not directed towards tourists and are usually petty crimes.

  • If you decide to visit the island, we recommend that you implement some safety measures.
  • Avoid wearing attention-grabbing clothing such as rings, chains, gold earrings or watches.
  • Try to dress as simply as possible.
  • Do not carry large items of clothing with you.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money with you.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money with you.
  • Keep your belongings in a safe place or stored in the hotel.
  • If you are going to travel, try to go in a group and avoid going out at night alone.

Also, we recommend the following products to store your items safely:

 

 

Weather at Bahamas Carnival

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During the celebrations the weather in the city is somewhat hot, with temperatures ranging from 22 to 30 degrees Celsius and little chance of precipitation.

Be sure to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen every 30 minutes or whenever your skin needs it.

 

Incredible outfits highlight Bahamas carnival parade

Incredible outfits highlight Bahamas carnival parade

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How to get to Bahamas Carnival

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How to get there by plane

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The closest airport to the capital of the Bahamas is Lynden Pindling International Airport. This airport receives a good number of flights mainly from America, the Caribbean and some countries in Europe. From here you can approach the center of the city using the different means of transportation.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by ferry

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The Prince George Pier is the port where most ferries and cruise ships arrive. In general, this pier receives cruise ships twice a week, mainly from other Caribbean islands.

 

How to get there by car

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From the airport you can take a car or cab to the city center. The cost of a cab is between 60 and 70 US dollars. If you prefer to go by car, you can take the John F Kennedy to get to the city center, which will take approximately 20 minutes.

 

Where to stay at Carnival in the Bahamas

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Booking.com

 

Courtyard by Marriott Nassau Downtown/Junkanoo Beach

4 star hotel 1.2 km from Nassau city center. The rooms have television and private bathrooms. In addition, some rooms have a view of the pool or garden. Facilities include w swimming pools, restaurant, bar, entrance to the beach, parking and free wifi.

 

Comfort Suites Paradise Island

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3-star hotel 2.4 km from Nassau city center. Suites offer cable TV, iron, refrigerator, safe, and hair dryer. Facilities offer bar, restaurant, parking and free wifi.

 

Ocean West Boutique Hotel

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3-star hotel 10 km from Nassau city center. Rooms feature air conditioning, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, shower, hair dryer and private bathroom. Facilities include gym, bar, airport transfers, swimming pool, parking and free wifi.

We recommend you use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.



 

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