New Providence, 2000
This celebration is a loud and boisterous national festivity
loosely derived from the African customs, celebrated on New
Providence on 26 Dec and 1 Jan. While the exact origins of
Junkanoo are unknown, it is thought to have its roots in slave
celebrations on their only days off in the year, at Christmas.
John Canoe is said to have been a popular slave leader. Wild
costumed rushers dance in Bay Street until dawn beating cowbells
and shak-shaks, and blowing whistles. As in Carnival in many
countries, local businesses sponsor groups who spend the whole
year making their costumes.
There is a Junkanoo Museum on Prince George Dock, by the cruise
ships, where previous year's costumes are stored. Small Junkanoo
displays can be seen on certain days in many of the large