Does anybody really celebrate on Boxing Day? In the Bahamas, yes they do!
Growing up in America, Boxing Day has always been a mysterious thing, something we know little about except that it says “Boxing Day (Canada)” on a lot of calendars. Every now and then we look it up to find out what it means, then promptly forget it again. Per Wikipedia, it began as “a day following Christmas when wealthy people and homeowners in the United Kingdom would give a box containing a gift to their servants.” But it is now better known as “a bank or public holiday that occurs on December 26, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws.” Doesn’t sound too exciting. Just another day off, and one Americans don’t even get, right?
Well… I just discovered there are places where Boxing Day is a very big deal. In the Bahamas (and The Turks and Caicos Islands) many towns hold a big street parade known as Junkanoo (named for a 17th Century slave, John Canoe) with music, dancing and costumes that to me look very much like the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans.
Here are a couple of examples. I’m going to have to see this in person one day.
Pretty cool right? Kind of makes you wish you hadn’t wasted your day off on Christmas.
Edit. Boxing Day 2011 videos are starting to turn up on Youtube. Check ’em out. Here’s one: