Growing up in Miami, either your family is from the Bahamas or you know someone whose family is from the Bahamas. For me and my bestie, we fall under both categories. So when trying to figure out what big New Year’s plans we’d make, Junkanoo in Nassau was the likely choice.
A little history: Junkanoo is the Bahamian version of Carnivale (also known as a street party or parade). Different groups dress up in themed costumes and “rush” (or dance) through the streets of Nassau. During slavery, black families had to work on Christmas and New Year’s day and were not able to celebrate; however, once their work was done, around midnight, they would rally and party in celebration of the Holiday. So in tradition, Junkanoo starts around midnight the day after Christmas and New years. For more on the history, visit: http://www.bahamas.co.uk/about/junkanoo/what-is-junkanoo
Nassau, Bahamas, which is a 35 min plane ride from Miami, is a frequent vacation destination for Miamians. We got to Nassau at about 7pm on New Year’s Eve, chilled until about 11p, bummed a ride to town at about midnight and partied until 9a.
What do you do for 10h? Well, you line up on the street (think parade) and wait until each band comes. When they come, you dance until they’re gone and wait for the next band. Some bands are about 100 people, some are in the thousands. You just dance and drink and party with hundreds of thousands of people until the sun comes up. Simple.
So if you’re ever looking for something really different and cultural to do for New Year’s, think about the Bahamas. I guarantee it’s nothing like you’ve ever experienced.