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Junkanoo is a street parade with music, dance, and complex and colorful costumes, that is held throughout the Bahamas. The music is infectious, often African inspired, and is largely made using instruments created in the Bahamas. Likewise tremendous attention and effort is paid to creating stunning customes, many of which are created with painstaking attention to detail.
Junkanoo parades take place in many Bahamian towns, the largest takes place in the islands' capital, Nassau. The parades are held on Boxing Day (December 26th), New Year's Day (January 1st), and, and in some parts of the Bahamas, in summer as well.
The origins of Junkanoo are not entirely clear and remain a matter of some debate. Some people say that the name derives from "John Canoe", who was an African prince and slave trader of the 17th century, and who is reputed to have outwitted the English and Dutch, and thus become a hero to slaves. What is definitely known is the days for celebrating Junkanoo coincide with two of three traditional annual holidays given to slaves (these traditional holidays were December 25th, December 26th, and January 1st). Additionally, similarly named holidays ("Jonkonnu" or "John Canoe" in Jamaica, "John Canoe" in Belize, and "John Kuner" in North Carolina).
For many people, Junkanoo are one of the best known aspects of Bahamian culture. This is in no small part due to the fact that. Junkanoo parades have featured in a number of high profile movies. Such movies include the James Bond film Thunderball, as well as the films, After the Sunset, and Jaws - The Revenge.
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