Bahamian traditions and customs

What traditions and customs are there in the Bahamas?

We will know the customs and traditions of the Bahamas islands.


Food in daily life

The typical meals of urban residents consist of fruits and vegetables, meat or fish, bread and rice. Outside the island, islanders tend to eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish. The two national dishes are conch, a sea snail, rice, and snap peas. The poor eat these foods because they are cheap and readily available; the wealthiest enjoy them as “heritage foods.”

Food customs on ceremonial occasions

Holiday meals tend to focus on local fish or shellfish, rice and peas, baked goods, and fresh fruit. Bahamian rum, local and imported beer, soft drinks, tea and coffee are consumed regularly.


Religious beliefs

Most residents are church-going Christians. About 80 percent are Protestant and 20 percent Catholic. The largest Protestant denominations are Baptists and Anglicans. Obeah is an African system of belief in spirits that often overlaps with Christianity.

Religious practitioners

Large congregations are led by ordained ministers and priests, while small congregations are led by non-ordained preachers. Obeah’s men are part-time specialists whose activities include placing and removing curses, communicating with spirits, and giving spiritual advice. rituals and

Holy places

Most of the rituals are Christian services and take place in churches. Immersion baptisms and revival meetings are held outdoors. Some Christian services include glossolalia, spirit possession, and faith healing. Obeah rituals tend to be small and private.

Death and the afterlife

The dead are placed in simple pine coffins, and wakes are held at home. The rich buy more expensive caskets and use funeral homes. Funerals are held in churches, and burials in public cemeteries. Souls are believed to go to heaven or hell, but some believe that ghosts wander before reaching their final destination.

Secular celebrations

Ten holidays are recognized: New Years, Good Friday, Easter, Whit Monday (seven weeks after Easter), Labor Day (first Friday in June), Independence Day (July 10), Emancipation Day (first Monday in August), Discovery Day (October 12), Christmas and Boxing Day (December 26). Secular holidays tend to be celebrated with parades, speeches, and concerts.

Arts and Humanities

Arts support

Artists tend to be self-sufficient, although government grants are occasionally awarded for works of particular public importance.


Oral literature, the telling of “old stories,” is a revered art form. Written works include historical novels and poetry.

Graphic arts

Graphic arts, especially painting, tend towards landscapes and seascapes and historical events. There are many private galleries in Nassau.

Performing arts

Plays are performed for tourists and residents in professional and amateur theaters in Nassau and Freeport. Concerts range from popular youth music (reggae, rock, rap) to more adult forms (blues, jazz, gospel) and classical music. The largest events are held in Nassau and Freeport, but smaller concerts are held in most island communities.

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