The lights in Rawson Square seemed extra bright today. You could feel the excitement in the air as throngs of Bahamians cheered for their favorite Junkanoo groups, whose members featured the best in Bahamian design, handicraft, and music. The beat of the spirit of our nation became a force as the crowd swayed to the pulsating rhythm of cowbells and goat skin drums. This time was different for you. Instead of watching from the bleachers, you joined a group and became a part of the action. Many people don’t experience the thrill of “rushing” in a Junkanoo group, but in this article, we’re giving you five reasons why you might want to add this incredible adventure to your Bucket List.
#1. Dive Into Your Culture
Junkanoo is a Bahamian ting. A deep, long-standing cultural tradition that has been passed down for generations. This sensational event is recognized and appreciated worldwide for its sights, sounds, and originality. Celebrating the spirit of Junkanoo is an integral part of what being Bahamian means, and rushing adds a new layer of meaning to that tradition for you.
#2. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Rushing gives you a chance to release your fear and try something new! Whether you’re beating a goat skin drum, blowing a whistle, dancing, or shaking a cowbell, the performer inside you will rise to the occasion when you hit Bay Street. We guarantee it.
#3. Great Memories with Great People
People join Junkanoo groups from all walks of life. Lawyers, doctors, mechanics, students - Bahamians from every part of our society spend months preparing for the big day. You can create lasting friendships and one-of-a-kind memories with people you wouldn’t normally cross paths with.
#4. Experience Bahamian History
Junkanoo has been around since the 17th century when slaves would cover their faces with flour paste and celebrate a day off with a “masquerade-style” parade. Today, we’ve replaced the flour paste with flamboyant masks and extravagant crepe costumes, but the essence of the celebration remains the same. You’ll never feel more Bahamian or more rooted in Bahamian history than when you’re “rushing” through the crowd.
#5. The Thrill of It
Rushing is an unofficial Bahamian sport. Dancing down Bay Street until sunrise is not for the faint of heart. Pure adrenaline pumps through your body as the rhythm of the goat skin drums keep you going. Nothing can beat that feeling of being in the middle of it all as the crowd cheers for their favorite group - your group - and that sense of pride swells in your chest. Junkanoo is truly an experience to behold.
Feeling inspired? Grab a cowbell and shake things up next Christmas by joining a Junkanoo group! If you want a taste of the experience, visit a Junkanoo practice session to find out how you can rush on Boxing Day or New Year’s Eve. You won’t regret it!