Public holidays in the Bahamas

A traditional Junkanoo costume during a New Year's Eve celebration

The holidays in The Bahamas include the following:[1]

In the Bahamas, holidays that fall on a Saturday or Sunday are typically celebrated on the following Monday. Events that fall on a Tuesday typically are celebrated on the previous Monday. Holidays that fall on Wednesdays or Thursdays (with the exception of Independence Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day) are celebrated the following Friday.[1]

Public holidaysEdit

Date English name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day First day of the Gregorian calendar, celebrated with Junkanoo parades in most islands.[2] New Year's Eve sees many beach parties throughout the Bahamas.[3]
January 10 Majority Rule Day Commemorates the day the Bahamian government gained majority rule for the first time, on this day in 1967. It is usually listed with the emancipation of slavery in 1836 and independence from Great Britain in 1973 as the most important events in the history of the Bahamas.[4]

Became an official public holiday in 2014. Celebrated with dancing in streets and feasts of traditional Bahamian cuisine.[5]
Friday before Easter Sunday Good Friday Marks the end of the Lenten season and the beginning of a 4-day holiday weekend. Most Bahamians attend church services and serve fish as the main meal for the day.[6]
Monday after Easter Sunday Easter Monday The last day of the long Easter holiday weekend. Marks the beginning of the beach picnicking season. Cookouts and regattas are also common.[7]
Seventh Monday after Easter Whit Monday Marks the end of the Easter cycle, 50 days after Easter Sunday. It is the day after the Feast of Pentecost.[8]
First Friday in June Randol Fawkes Labour Day Established by Fawkes in 1961. The day's festivities start with a large parade in downtown Nassau, commencing around 10:00 a.m. The parade is led by bands and Junkanooers, who provide music for the spectators and marchers. The majority of marchers come from labour unions and political parties. The parade ends at the Southern Recreation Grounds, where leaders of the unions and political parties give speeches.[9][10]
July 10th Independence Day Marks the day Bahamas became a fully independent nation, officially splitting from Great Britain in 1973.[11] A week-long celebration is held leading up to the day of, when a mix of carnival and Junkanoo parades, fireworks, and speeches of freedom and independence are commonplace throughout the islands.[12]
First Monday in August Emancipation Day/August Monday Celebrates the emancipation of slaves in 1834. Junkanoo, beaching, sailing, and regattas take place throughout the country. Old slave villages such as Gambier and Fox Hill hold their own celebrations.[13][14]
Second Monday in October National Heroes' Day (formerly Discovery Day or Columbus Day[15]) Became National Heroes' Day in 2013 and is dedicated to honoring national heroes of the Bahamas. A ceremony is held with a speech from the Prime Minister, and national heroes are celebrated with a week full of activities. Many people take this day to have family gatherings and picnics.[16]
December 25 Christmas Day Christmas season in the Bahamas sees many carnivals and festivals throughout the country. Customs have been adopted from other countries, as well, such as gift-giving, feasting, and sending Christmas cards. The holiday season starts with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Nassau's Pompey Square.[3]
December 26 Boxing Day The name comes from the pre-emancipation practice of plantation owners sending boxes to slaves. Usually the wooden boxes were high-quality shipped from England. The day is marked with Junkanoo festivals throughout the nation, including the Christmas Junkanoo Festival in Nassau.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Our Holidays". The Bahamas. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  2. ^ Wheatley, Nick. "Guide to Junkanoo: How the Bahamas Celebrates Christmas & New Years". Wandering Wheatleys. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b McLeod, Sheri-kae. "A Guide to Celebrating Christmas in the Bahamas". Culture Trip. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  4. ^ Sebastian Campbell, Rev. Canon S. (January 16, 2014). "Majority Rule, Let's Celebrate". The Tribune. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Commemorate Majority Rule Day in The Bahamas With Air Unlimited!". Air Unlimited. January 10, 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Good Friday Holiday". The Bahamas. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Easter Monday Holiday". The Bahamas. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Whit Monday Holiday". The Bahamas. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Randal Fawkes Labour Day Holiday". The Bahamas. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Randol Fawkes Labour Day Parade Photos". The Bahamas Weekly. June 9, 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  11. ^ "1973: Bahamas' sun sets on British Empire". British Broadcasting Corporation. July 9, 1973. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Bahamian Independence Day". Chiff. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Emancipation Day/August Monday Holiday". The Bahamas. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Blacks Celebrate Freedom Whites Celebrate Enlightenment – Emancipation Day 1937". Bahamianology. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  15. ^ Longley, Ginelle (October 6, 2018). "38 national heroes to be awarded". Eyewitness News. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  16. ^ "National Heroes Day Holiday". The Bahamas. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Bahamas Junkanoo Festival: Your Guide To Attending Boxing Day & New Year's Day Parades (2019-2020)". Tru Bahamian Food Tours. Retrieved 5 May 2020.