Junkanoo, the spectacular pre-dawn street parade of music, dance and costume that takes place on December 26 and January 1, is probably the most famous and distinctly Bahamian cultural expression.

Although its origins are up for debate, this Bahamian cultural extravaganza is an enduring — and incredibly fun — tradition. The most popular belief is that Junkanoo evolved from the days of slavery. The slaves were given three days off during the Christmas season, which they used to celebrate by singing and dancing in colorful masks, and traveling from house to house, often on stilts. After slavery was abolished Junkanoo nearly vanished but the revival of the festival now provides entertainment, not only during the Christmas season, but also throughout the year on some islands.

Here's a whirlwind tour of the many other colorful festivals and events visitors can participate in while staying in The Bahamas:

Nassau & Paradise Island
Bahamas International Film Festival (January)
Marathon Bahamas (January)
Tru Tru Bahamian Festival (February)
Festival RumBahamas (February)
Junkanoo Carnival
Goombay Summer Festival
Bahamas National Trust Annual Wine and Art Festival (October)
Bahamas Music and Heritage Festival
Pure Silk LPGA Classic
Hero World Challenge
Best of the Best Regatta

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
Goombay Summer Festival (July)
Grand Bahama Regatta & Heritage Festival (July)
Junkanoo Summer Festival (August)
Conchman Triathlon (November)
Festival Noel (December)

The Abacos

Great Abaco Classic Golf (January)
Love Rush Junkanoo (February)
Songwriters In Paradise (February)
Island Roots Heritage Festival (May)
Regatta Time in Abaco (July)
Cheeseburger In Paradise (July)
Junkanoo & Goombay Summer Festivals (July-August)
Abaco Christmas Festival (December)

Eleuthera & Harbour Island
All That Jazz Festival (April)
The Pineapple Festival (June)
Goombay Summer Festival (August)
North Eleuthera Regatta (October)
Thanksgiving Craft & Cultural Festival (November)
Jack’s Bay Golf Event

The Exumas
Korn Ferry PGA Great Exuma Golf Classic (January)
Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival
National Family Island Regatta
Goombay Summer Festival

Native Fishing Tournament (August)
Bimini Mayhem Wahoo Tournament
Junkanoo Jam NCAA Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournaments (November)

The Berry Islands
Annual Fishing Tournament at Great Harbour Cay
Berry Islands Fest & Homecoming (August)

Mars Bay Conch Fest
South Andros Homecoming Festival & Regatta (June)
Andros Crabfest (June)
Goombay Summer Festival
Andros Harvest Festival
All Andros Berry Island Regatta (July)

Cat Island
Rake ’n Scrape Music Annual Festival (June)
Cat Island Regatta (July/August)

Long Island
Mutton Festival (March)

San Salvador
Discovery Day Homecoming Festival (October)