Christmas in the Bahamas
When we think of Christmas holiday destinations, we are not all that likely to have the Bahamas pop into our heads before Lapland does, right? Don’t let the Caribbean setting fool you though, the Bahamas can be every bit as festive as any other location in the world and you have never experienced a Christmas like this before – spending the holidays on the waves, sailing around the Bahamas with a cocktail in your hand – if that does not sound too horrible then you, my friend, are in the right place.
If you are more Giselle than Griswald, the Bahamas are just perfect for the Christmas period and there is a lot more going on here than just being home to some of the best Instagram worthy settings that you will likely have ever seen.
All of the islands here, the inhabited ones at least, are fully decorated during the holiday season, and they buzzing with fun and lively activities that the whole family can enjoy together.
Food and shopping (the shopping is insanely addictive, be warned) are an integral part of the Bahamian Christmas experience. This is our little guide to what’s on and where to go, to get the very most out of your Christmas in the Bahamas.
Over in Grand Bahama, the Port Lucaya Marketplace is a shopper’s very own Christmas miracle. Being the largest shopping complex in the Bahamas it is draped with a wide range of various Christmas ornaments and lights and there is also a huge tree (of the Christmas variety, of course) right at the heart of the market. The complex is home to 40 stores and boutiques and the majority hold sales and specials right through December.
Shopping therapy has never been as glamorous as this before, and making friends and family back home jealous has never been so satisfying either. With that in mind, you might also want to consider the Nassau Straw Market – dropping the amazing show, Black Sails into conversation while casually remarking, “you know, we did a little Christmas shopping there” is the kind of smug comment that feels almost as good as slipping into a hot bubble bath when it is below freezing outside.
When sailing around the Bahamas, you have several destination islands to head to, and you do not want to miss any of them. Christmas in the Bahamas is made even more special and memorable thanks to the annual Junkanoo Festival. This takes place on December 26 and doesn’t stop until New Years’ day.
The Bahamas Junkanoo Festival is held in Nassau, and a few other locations also celebrate the festival. The Junkanoo parade, for instance, can be witnessed in:
- Grand Bahama
The Junkanoo Festival is an exciting four-day carnival that celebrates and showcases Bahamian culture and traditions. The Festival draws in visitors from across the globe, and you can descend on the Bahamas too in time to have an amazing visit and immerse yourself in the Bahamian culture.
Thousands of people, both locals and visitors get dressed up in colorful costumes and spill out onto the streets and dance along to the rhythmic beats being played by local and visiting bands that play roots, reggae, soca, and all manner of other Caribbean centric music genres.
If the Junkanoo doesn’t sound like your kind of jam, don’t worry – there are many other Christmas activities that you can sink yourself into. For example, every December, the Ministry of Tourism ignites the holiday season with a ceremony at Pompey Square in Nassau – this is where the annual (when else?) Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place.
Right through the month of December, there are concerts and celebrations taking place that are hosted by several organizations in the region.
As is the case with the majority of countries around the world, food is an integral part of the Christmas celebrations in the Bahamas. Food, drink, and celebration go hand in hand and there are so many favorites in and around these islands, things like…
- Ginger beer
- Black cake
- And fruit such as apples and grapes
… Are among a few of the Christmas favorites in the Bahamas. Throughout the Christmas period, you are going to have a hard time not putting on a little extra weight, sorry about that, but you can always make yourself feel better by hitting the beach. You see, the great thing about Christmas in this part of the world is that you can top up your tan while still sipping your eggnog. Perfect.
The Junkanoo Festival very conveniently runs until New Years’ Day, but there are there all kinds of festivities and celebrations going on at the same time on New Years’ Eve with many nightclubs open for the NYE celebrations too.
Bring in the New Year in style by heading to the Aura Nightclub. A complimentary glass of champagne is yours to enjoy on admission, and there are bottle services available too. You must be 18 to enter, and the ‘two kids standing on each other’s shoulders wearing a large coat’ sadly does not work. Apparently.
For fireworks options, is there anything more luxurious than watching from the deck of a boat, off the coast of the Bahamas, one arm over the shoulder of your partner while you sip a glass of bubbly? Probably not, but if you would rather be a little closer to the action, then why not head to Marina Village see in the New Year in Style? Enjoy the Junkanoo Festival here, then gaze in wonder at the spectacular fireworks display at midnight, Happy New Year!
Christmas anywhere is as magical as you make it, but being in the Bahamas at the time doesn’t exactly hurt.
For more details and general information, give us a call – we love to chat!