Music is the heartbeat of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. From Grand Bahama to Nassau, enjoy non-stop live entertainment day and night with the best Bahamian musicians and their contemporaries from across the Caribbean and the around the world. Long before the spectacular ‘rush-out’, the exuberant Junkanoo dance troupes – groups of up to 1,000 – will have been busy rehearsing their dazzling routines. The musicians will have perfected the hypnotic rhythms they’ll perform day and night on a cacophony of goatskin drums, cowbells, whistles and horns, and the imaginative costume designers will have worked non-stop to weave their own special magic with beautifully coloured crepe paper and cardboard.As the Junkanoo parade moves through the streets of downtown Nassau in the early hours of the morning (generally from 2am to 10am), the energy of the dancers and the beat of the music motivates the vast crowds of supporters and spectators to start moving in their seats, or on their feet, or in the trees, or on balconies – wherever they have found a spot from which to watch this soul-stirring festival! At the end of the famous Junkanoo procession, judges award cash prizes for the best music, best costume and best overall group presentation. To experience Bahamian culture and art, you should make plans to attend Junkanoo. The Bahamian festival of Junkanoo is an energetic, colourful parade of brightly costumed people gyrating and dancing to the rhythmic accompaniment of cowbells, drums and whistles. The celebration occurs on December 26 and January 1 — beginning in the early hours of the morning (2:00 a.m.) and ending at dawn.Junkanoo is reminiscent of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, but it is distinctly Bahamian and exists nowhere else. Parade participants — arranged in groups of up to 1,000 — are organised around a particular theme. Their costumes, dance and music reflect this theme. At the end of the Junkanoo procession, judges award cash prizes. The three main categories for the awards are: best music, best costume and best overall group presentation.