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The Commonwealth of the Bahamas 

The name "Bahamas" came from the Spanish word "bajamar", which means "shallow water". The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands and cays, located north of Dominica and Cuba and 80 km southeast of Florida.  About 40 of the islands are populated. The islands cover an area of about 100,000 square miles. Although the Bahamas is considered to be part of the Caribbean it is not geographically in the Caribbean. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean.

The country has a rich history of evolution throughout the years. The islands were originally occupied by the Lucayans for centuries, who were an Arawak Taino-speaking people. In 1492, Christopher Columbus encountered the islands on his historical voyage in search of the New World, establishing the first connection that the country had with Europe. The Lucayans were enslaved and taken to Hispanola, leaving the country dormant until English settlers from Bermuda settled in one of the islands, eventually leading to a British presence and then the colonization of The Bahamas by Britain in 1718. 

The Bahamas gained independence in 1973. Since then, the country has established itself as a parliamentary democracy with an economy based on tourism and finance, proving itself to be one of the most developed countries in the region.

On a global level, the Bahamas is known for its beautiful wildlife, scenic beaches, and warm hospitality. 

Key Facts:

Official Name: The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Date of Independence: July 10, 1973

Official language: English

Timezone: Eastern Daylight Time/ Eastern Standard time, depending on the time of year.

Currency: Bahamian dollar (BSD $) The currency  is held equivalent to the US Dollar.

Capital: Nassau is the capital city and is located on the island of New Providence. The city of Freeport in the island of Grand Bahama is considered the 2nd city. 

Main Islands: There are about fifteen main Family Islands in the Bahamas: Abaco, Acklins & Crooked Island, Andros, Bimini, Berry Islands, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

National Bird: The Flamingo

National Fish: The Blue Marlin

National Tree: Lignum Vitae

National Flower: Yellow Elder

Bahamas Flag: The flag colors are aquamarine-blue, gold, and black and the colors are very symbolic - 
Gold stands for the sun and sand Blue stands for the sea The Black triangle stands for the unity of the Bahamian people, moving forward together.

Public Holidays

  • New Year’s Day (January 1st)

  • Majority Rule Day (January 10th)

  • Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)

  • Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday)

  • Whit Monday (Seventh Monday after Easter)

  • Randol Fawkes Labour Day (First Friday in June)

  • Bahamas Independence Day (July 10th)

  • Emancipation Day/August Monday (First Monday in August)

  • National Heroes Day (Second Monday in October)

  • Christmas Day (December 25th)

  • Boxing Day (December 26th)

Please Note:

  • Holidays falling on a Saturday or Sunday are usually celebrated on the following Monday

  • Holidays falling on Tuesday are usually celebrated on the previous Monday

  • Holidays falling on Wednesday or Thursday are celebrated on the following Friday (with the exception of Independence Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

  • Banks/businesses and many shops are closed on public holidays

Read more about these holidays >>>

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