3 Unforgettable Cultural Festivals of The Bahamas

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The pounding sheepskin drums of traditional Bahamian rake-and-scrape music provide the soundtrack to the island nation’s most exciting festivals, filled with sights and sounds that will prove unforgettable.

Each island nation has few captivating cultural festivals visitors can experience when they come to the Caribbean, and The Bahamas is no exception.

These Are The Best Cultural Festivals of The Bahamas:


Some in the know might say that Junkanoo never really ends; it only takes many different forms throughout the calendar year. A celebration of Bahamian culture, participants don elaborate, colorful costumes as they march through the streets of every island for the primary celebration.

The largest such instance is the one you’ll want to make the trip for: a two-day parade through the capital of Nassau, on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and New Years Day (Jan. 1). Borne of native traditions celebrating the island’s freedom, the spirit of Junkanoo permeates every song and dance to be found in the Bahamas.

As a bonus, if you really want to get into the spirit, check out some of these cultural landmarks of The Bahamas while you're there.

National Family Island Regatta

You can probably imagine this chain of tropical islands has a robust local boating culture. What you’ll be delighted to learn is that this annual boat race is accompanied by spirited concerts and unforgettable foods as well.

Visitors from all around flock to Great Exuma in the last week of April every year to take part, both top notch sailors looking to take the crown, or just those seeking a fantastic nautical celebration. With local musicians taking stages across the island, and countless local foods and other activities to enjoy, this regatta is one any Bahamas visitor won’t want to miss out on!

Mars Bay Conch Fest

No trip to these islands is complete without sampling the national food of the Bahamas, and there’s no better place to get your fill than the annual Mars Bay Conch Fest.

The meat of the conch (pronounced “konk”) is described as firm and chewy and unmistakably Caribbean, and is the foundation of a huge variety of local delicacies. Learn how their beautiful shells are sought and harvested by local fishers, ride on a traditional conching sloop, and, most importantly, partake in both long-treasured and innovative new methods of cooking this tantalizing treat.

No matter if it’s steamed or fried, in a salad or sandwich, as long as you’re in the Bahamas, you’re in Conch Country.

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About K. Williams, T. Thompson & W. van der Hoop.

A collaboration between seasoned travel writers, boasting over 30 years of collective experience in Caribbean travel.