Christmas 2020 — We Will Stay Safe (COVID-19)
Issued on: 2020-11
Perforation: 13½ x 13
Printing: Offset lithography
Denominations: 15¢, 50¢, 65¢, 75¢
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. It was confirmed to have reached the Bahamas on 15 March 2020 with the announcement of the first confirmed case, a 61-year-old female.
On March 20, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced a 9pm to 5am curfew, restrictions on private gatherings, and closure of most in-person businesses, with limited hours for food stores and farmers’ markets, pharmacies, gas stations, laundromats, banks, construction, and restaurants (limited to take-out only). Essential workers for the government, utilities, and media were exempted, as were health care providers and suppliers. The airport remained open, but only essential travel was allowed on public buses.
On April 19, the prime minister announced that wearing a mask or covering one’s face with clothing is mandatory in public. Employers must provide their employees who are serving the general public with masks.
On May 21, authorities were maintaining various restrictions across the islands in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. A daily 24-hour curfew on weekdays and weekend lockdowns are from 2100 on Fridays to 0500 on Mondays. The island of Bimini was under complete lockdown at least through May 30. Under the 24 hour curfew, the residents could only leave their homes for essential purposes or for an emergency.
Christmas time in the Bahamas is as festive as any other time during the year. All the inhabited islands in the archipelago are fully decorated during the winter and abuzz with various holiday activities for the entire family.
For about a week before Christmas Day carollers go out in the evening, singing carols in public places in order to welcome the moment of festivity with full vigor. Some of the favorite Christmas carols which savor the mood are “Christians Awake”, “Salute the Happy Morn” and many more.
Exchanging gifts and cards amongst each other serves as a prime activity amongst the people of Bahamas. Children are often gifted with toys and candy canes by their parents in the guise of Santa. Since a Christmas tree is the centre of attraction in most houses so children take active participation in the decoration of the Christmas tree. The tree is duly decorated with twinkling lights, tree top angels, icicles and other ornaments. Apart from decorating the Christmas tree, the interior of houses are as well taken care of. The house is neatly cleaned up and new curtains are hung up. Families prepare food, cakes and other goodies for families and loved ones. Moreover all the fixtures and furniture are removed so that the house gets a vacant and clean look. Moreover in order to add more décor to their household, beautiful embroidered clothes are placed.
Food has always been the centre of attraction among the people of Bahamas during the celebration of Christmas. Some traditional Bahamian Christmas items like ginger beer, black cake, imported apples, imported grapes, garlic pork, pepper pot, pickled onions and ham are prepared and feasted upon by the people of Bahamas. Often the mood of celebration are further enriched with Christmas drinks which include ginger beer, sorrel, mauby, sweet potato fly (a fly is a fermented drink) falernum, shandy, rum and wines.
Christmas in the Bahamas is not complete without the annual Christmas Junkanoo Festival that takes place on December 26. Thousands of locals and tourists dress in colourful costumes and come out in the streets of Bahamas to dance to the rhythmic bands playing soca, reggae, roots and other genres of Caribbean music. Among the Junkanoo troupes are the Saxons, Valley Boys and Roots. The Junkanoo parade can be witnessed in Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Bimini and Abaco.. The most spectacular Junkanoo parade occurs in Nassau.
15¢ With A Mask We Will Stay Safe
50¢ With Social Distance We Will Stay Safe
65¢ Covering Coughs and Sneezes, We Will Stay Safe
70¢ Washing Our Hands We Will Stay Safe