Sunday, 1 February 2015

Recommendations for First Time Junkanoo-ers

I see my little Bahamian Flag sitting on my desk and I am reminded of the array of emotions I felt during the hours of the festival. There is really nothing else like it.  For those who are planning to go, I would recommend doing some preliminary research. Everything you read online is not necessarily true, but at least get somewhat of an idea about what is going to happen at the festival.  Arrive to the Bahamas a few days early to eat fresh conch and every type of fritter you can get your hands on. Talk to the locals about what you are going to take part in.  They delight in sharing their stories and the history of their festival.  Plus, hanging out with the locals instead of in the “touristy” areas makes a huge difference in experiencing the Bahamian lifestyle.  Also, take a light jacket.  Do not be fooled by the tropical climate, because when you are sitting on metal bleachers in the wee hours of the morning it can become quite chilly.  Arrive to the festival right around 2am to find your seats, before the large crowds settle in. Get plenty of sleep the day before! You will definitely want to be awake for the entirety of the show. Bring cash for snacks and coffee -- Guava Duff is a must-have.  Lastly,  join in on the chants, root for your favorite group, and of course, dance!  Engulf yourself into the experience and learn and enjoy what it feels like to be a true Bahamian!

-Jaclyn V.

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