Holidays Celebrated In The Bahamas
New Year’s Day (January 1st)
Junkanoo parades take place in most islands.
Majority Rule Day (January 10th)
Majority Rule Day became a public holiday in 2014. It commemorates The Bahamas gaining majority rule for the first time on January 10, 1967, symbolizing the promise of equality, a level playing field, and fair play for all Bahamians. Along with the emancipation from slavery in 1836, and gaining Independence from Great Britain in 1973, the achievement of Majority Rule is considered one of the most important events in the history of the country.
Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)
This religious holiday marks the end of the Lenten season and is the first day of a long holiday weekend which includes the following Monday after Easter Sunday. On this holy day most Bahamians attend church services and serve fish as their main meal of the day.
Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday)
This holiday marks the beginning of the beach picnicking season for Bahamians. There are also many cookouts in public parks on the Nassau waterfront; homecomings and regattas are held in some Out Islands.
Whit Monday (Seventh Monday after Easter)
This holiday marks the end of the Easter cycle and the beginning of public witness of the Christian church. It is the Monday after Whit Sunday, The Feast of Pentecost, which comes 50 days after Easter.
Randol Fawkes Labour Day (First Friday in June)
Sir Randol Fawkes established Labour Day in 1961, and it is now named in his honor. On this holiday, members of the labor unions from different organizations, as well as political parties, march in a large parade through the streets of downtown Nassau, usually in colorful uniforms, beginning around 10:00 a.m. Local bands and a few Junkanooers lead the parades, providing lively music for the marchers and spectators. The parade ends at the Southern Recreation Grounds, where union leaders and local politicians deliver speeches.
Bahamas Independence Day (July 10th)
This holiday commemorates the day when The Bahamas became a fully independent nation in 1973, separating from the United Kingdom. However, we remain a member of The Commonwealth of Nations.
Emancipation Day/August Monday (First Monday in August)
This holiday 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.
National Heroes Day (Second Monday in October)
Formerly known as "Discovery Day" or "Columbus Day," this holiday has now been dedicated to honoring Bahamian national heroes since 2013. An official National Heroes Day ceremony is held with a keynote speech by the Prime Minister, and heroes from a cross-section of civil society are celebrated with a week of activities. Many people enjoy the day with family gatherings and beach picnics.
Christmas Day (December 25th)
Christmas 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.
Boxing Day (December 26th)
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.
- Holidays falling on a Saturday or Sunday are usually celebrated on the following Monday
- Holidays falling on Tuesday are usually celebrated on the previous Monday
- Holidays falling on Wednesday or Thursday are celebrated on the following Friday (with the exception of Independence Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)
- Banks/businesses and many shops are closed on public holidays