Nassau & Paradise Island

Emancipation Day/August Monday

This holiday, on the first Monday in August, celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the British colonies in 1834. It is celebrated with a Junkanoo Rush-out, a day of beaching, sailing, and regattas in most islands.

On New Providence, old slave villages such as Gambier in the west and Fox Hill in the east have their own special celebrations.

Boxing Day Holiday

This holiday was granted to slaves the day after Christmas, when they were given the boxes left over from their master’s gifts. These boxes usually were sent from England and were well-crafted from fine wood. Hence the holiday is known as Boxing Day.

Junkanoo parades take place on some islands to commemorate the day.

Christmas Day

The Christmas holiday is celebrated in The Bahamas with many carnivals and festivals. We also have adopted many of the same traditions and customs of other countries. These include gift-giving, feasting and sending Christmas cards.

Changing of the Guard

A tradition since 1958, the Changing of the Guard ceremony features the world-renowned Royal Bahamas Police Force Marching Band and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force Guards. The groups march from the police force headquarters on East Street to Government House, with the Police Band playing along the way. They perform a marching display and precision drills on arrival just before a member of the new guard replaces a member of the old guard. When this is done, the old guard marches back to the police headquarters leaving the new guard in position.

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