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The island of Abaco is to the east of Grand Bahama. The southeasternmost island is Inagua. The largest island is Andros Island.

Nassau , capital city of the Bahamas, lies on the island of New Providence. To the southeast, the Turks and Caicos Islands , and three more extensive submarine features called Mouchoir Bank , Silver Bank and Navidad Bank , are geographically a continuation of the Bahamas.

Disney has its own private island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay. In , The Walt Disney Company purchased a year land lease for the cay from the Bahamian government, set to expire in The low latitude, warm tropical Gulf Stream , and low elevation give the Bahamas a warm and winterless climate.

The Bahamas have been free of snowfall, with the exception of snow mixed with rain reported in Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama on 19 January As with most tropical climates, seasonal rainfall follows the sun, and summer is the wettest season.

The Bahamas are often sunny and dry for long periods of time, and average more than 3, hours or days [50] of sunlight annually.

Tropical storms and hurricanes can on occasion impact the Bahamas. In , Hurricane Andrew passed over the northern portions of the islands, and Hurricane Floyd passed near the eastern portions of the islands in These limestones would have been deposited in shallow seas, assumed to be a stretched and thinned portion of the North American continental crust.

Sediments were forming at about the same rate as the crust below was sinking due to the added weight. Thus, the entire area consisted of a large marine plain with some islands.

Then, at about 80 Ma, the area became flooded by the Gulf Stream. Coral reefs form the "retaining walls" of these atolls, within which oolites and pellets form.

Coral growth was greater through the Tertiary , until the start of the Ice Ages , and hence those deposits are more abundant below a depth of 36 m.

In fact, an ancient extinct reef exists half a km seaward of the present one, 30 m below sea level. Cemented ooids are referred to as grapestone.

Additionally, giant stromatolites are found off the Exuma Cays. Sea level changes resulted in a drop in sea level, causing wind blown oolite to form sand dunes with distinct cross-bedding.

Overlapping dunes form oolitic ridges, which become rapidly lithified through the action of rainwater, called eolianite. Most islands have ridges ranging from 30 to 45 m, though Cat Island has a ridge 60 m in height.

The land between ridges is conducive to the formation of lakes and swamps. Solution weathering of the limestone results in a "Bahamian Karst " topography.

Several blue holes are aligned along the South Andros Fault line. Tidal flats and tidal creeks are common, but the more impressive drainage patterns are formed by troughs and canyons such as Great Bahama Canyon with the evidence of turbidity currents and turbidite deposition.

However, these units are not necessarily stacked on top of each other but can be located laterally. The Grotto Beach Formation is the most widespread.

Political and legal traditions closely follow those of the United Kingdom and the Westminster system. The Bahamas is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations as a Commonwealth realm , retaining the Queen as head of state represented by a Governor-General.

The House of Assembly carries out all major legislative functions. As under the Westminster system, the Prime Minister may dissolve Parliament and call a general election at any time within a five-year term.

The Prime Minister is the head of government and is the leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Assembly. Executive power is exercised by the Cabinet, selected by the Prime Minister and drawn from his supporters in the House of Assembly.

Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech , press , worship , movement and association. The Judiciary of the Bahamas is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Jurisprudence is based on English law. A handful of other political parties have been unable to win election to parliament. The Bahamas has strong bilateral relationships with the United States and the United Kingdom , represented by an ambassador in Washington and High Commissioner in London.

Under the Defence Act, the RBDF has been mandated, in the name of the Queen , to defend the Bahamas, protect its territorial integrity, patrol its waters, provide assistance and relief in times of disaster, maintain order in conjunction with the law enforcement agencies of the Bahamas, and carry out any such duties as determined by the National Security Council.

Their duties include defending the Bahamas, stopping drug smuggling , illegal immigration and poaching, and providing assistance to mariners.

The Defence Force has a fleet of 26 coastal and inshore patrol craft along with 3 aircraft and over 1, personnel including 65 officers and 74 women.

The overall goal of this act is to allow the various elected leaders to govern and oversee the affairs of their respective districts without the interference of Central Government.

In total, there are 32 districts, with elections being held every five years. There are Councillors and Town Committee members are elected to represent the various districts.

Each Councillor or Town Committee member is responsible for the proper use of public funds for the maintenance and development of their constituency.

The Bahamas uses drive-on-the-Left traffic rules throughout the Commonwealth. The Bahamian flag was adopted in Its colours symbolise the strength of the Bahamian people; its design reflects aspects of the natural environment sun and sea and economic and social development.

The flag is a black equilateral triangle against the mast, superimposed on a horizontal background made up of three equal stripes of aquamarine, gold and aquamarine.

The coat of arms of the Bahamas contains a shield with the national symbols as its focal point. The shield is supported by a marlin and a flamingo , which are the national animals of the Bahamas.

The flamingo is located on the land, and the marlin on the sea, indicating the geography of the islands. On top of the shield is a conch shell, which represents the varied marine life of the island chain.

The conch shell rests on a helmet. Along the bottom, below the shield appears a banner upon which is the national motto: The yellow elder was chosen as the national flower of the Bahamas because it is native to the Bahama islands, and it blooms throughout the year.

They reasoned that other flowers grown there—such as the bougainvillea , hibiscus and poinciana —had already been chosen as the national flowers of other countries.

The yellow elder, on the other hand, was unclaimed by other countries although it is now also the national flower of the United States Virgin Islands and also the yellow elder is native to the family islands.

The Bahamas relies on tourism to generate most of its economic activity. The government has adopted incentives to encourage foreign financial business, and further banking and finance reforms are in progress.

The government plans to merge the regulatory functions of key financial institutions, including the Central Bank of the Bahamas CBB and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Bahamas International Securities Exchange consists of 19 listed public companies. Reflecting the relative soundness of the banking system mostly populated by Canadian banks , the impact of the global financial crisis on the financial sector has been limited.

The economy has a very competitive tax regime classified as a tax haven. The government derives its revenue from import tariffs, VAT , licence fees, property and stamp taxes, but there is no income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax, or wealth tax.

Payroll taxes fund social insurance benefits and amount to 3. Major crops include onions , okra , tomatoes , oranges , grapefruit , cucumbers , sugar cane , lemons , limes , and sweet potatoes.

The Bahamas has an estimated population of ,, of which It has a population growth rate of 0. Residents have a life expectancy at birth of The total fertility rate is 2.

The most populous islands are New Providence, where Nassau, the capital and largest city, is located; [64] and Grand Bahama, home to the second largest city of Freeport.

Since the colonial era of plantations, Africans or Afro-Bahamians have been the largest ethnic group in the Bahamas, whose primary ancestry was based in West Africa.

The first Africans to arrive to the Bahamas were freed slaves from Bermuda ; they arrived with the Eleutheran Adventurers looking for new lives.

The Haitian community in the Bahamas is also largely of African descent and numbers about 80, Due to an extremely high immigration of Haitians to the Bahamas, the Bahamian government started deporting illegal Haitian immigrants to their homeland in late The White Bahamian population are mainly the descendants of the English Puritans looking to flee religious persecution in England and American Loyalists escaping the American Revolution who arrived in and , respectively.

Sometimes Bahamians use the term Conchy Joe to describe people of Anglo descent. A small portion of the Euro-Bahamian population are Greek Bahamians , descended from Greek labourers who came to help develop the sponging industry in the s.

Bahamians typically identify themselves simply as either black or white. The official language of the Bahamas is English. Many people speak an English-based creole language called Bahamian dialect known simply as "dialect" or "Bahamianese.

It is known simply as Creole [1] to differentiate it from Bahamian English. Religion in the Bahamas [76]. In the less developed outer islands or Family Islands , handicrafts include basketry made from palm fronds.

This material, commonly called "straw", is plaited into hats and bags that are popular tourist items. Another use is for so-called "Voodoo dolls", even though such dolls are the result of foreign influences and not based in historic fact.

A form of folk magic obeah is practised by some Bahamians, mainly in the Family Islands out-islands of the Bahamas. Junkanoo is also used to celebrate other holidays and events such as Emancipation Day.

Regattas are important social events in many family island settlements. They usually feature one or more days of sailing by old-fashioned work boats , as well as an onshore festival.

Many dishes are associated with Bahamian cuisine , which reflects Caribbean, African and European influences. Some settlements have festivals associated with the traditional crop or food of that area, such as the "Pineapple Fest" in Gregory Town, Eleuthera or the "Crab Fest" on Andros.

Other significant traditions include story telling. Bahamians have created a rich literature of poetry, short stories, plays and short fictional works.

Common themes in these works are 1 an awareness of change, 2 a striving for sophistication, 3 a search for identity, 4 nostalgia for the old ways and 5 an appreciation of beauty.

Bahamas culture is rich with beliefs, traditions, folklore and legend. Sport is a significant part of Bahamian culture. The national sport is cricket.

Cricket has been played in the Bahamas from , [83] the oldest sport being played in the country today. The Bahamas Cricket Association was formed in , and from the s to the s, cricket was played amongst many Bahamians.

Bahamas is not a part of the West Indies Cricket Board , so players are not eligible to play for the West Indies cricket team. The late s saw the game begin to decline in the country as teachers, who had previously come from the United Kingdom with a passion for cricket, were replaced by teachers who had been trained in the United States.

The Bahamian physical education teachers had no knowledge of the game and instead taught track and field , basketball , baseball , softball , [84] volleyball [85] and football [86] where primary and high schools compete against each other.

Today cricket is still enjoyed by a few locals and immigrants in the country usually from Jamaica , Guyana , Haiti and Barbados. The only other sporting event that began before cricket was horse racing , which started in Leagues for teens and adults have been developed by the Bahamas American Football Federation.

Leagues are governed by the Bahamas Football Association. Joe Lewis , the owner of the club, is based in the Bahamas. Other popular sports are swimming , [94] tennis [95] and boxing , [96] where Bahamians have enjoyed some degree of success at the international level.

Other sports such as golf , [97] rugby league , [98] rugby union , [99] beach soccer , [] and netball are considered growing sports.

Bahamians have a strong tradition in the sprints and jumps. Track and field is probably the most popular spectator sport in the country next to basketball due to their success over the years.

Triathlons are gaining popularity in Nassau and the Family Islands. Frank Rutherford is the first athletics olympic medallist for the country.

He won a bronze medal for triple jump during the Summer Olympics. They are affectionately known as the "Golden Girls".

According to estimates, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Bahama disambiguation. History of The Bahamas.

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Geography of the Bahamas. Politics of the Bahamas. Foreign relations of the Bahamas.

Royal Bahamas Defence Force. Local government in the Bahamas. Flag of the Bahamas. Coat of arms of the Bahamas.

Economy of the Bahamas. Agriculture in the Bahamas. Demographics of the Bahamas. Religion in the Bahamas. Culture of the Bahamas and Music of the Bahamas.

Education in the Bahamas. Bahamas portal New Spain portal. Pan American Health Organization. Evangelical Association of the Caribbean.

Retrieved 1 May Retrieved 10 September United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 27 October Retrieved 29 May The epic story of The Bahama Islands.

Retrieved on 18 December Retrieved 13 September Intrepid Explorer or Ruthless Conqueror? Archived from the original on 19 September Copyright Anglican Communications Department.

Even though you may not hear about Bahamian sports on a regular basis, there are a certain number of sports that are popular on the islands.

You have the option of getting in on the action when you visit the Bahamas. Cricket is perhaps the most popular sport in the Bahamas.

There are training sessions three times a week, and visitors have free reign of equipment free of charge.

If you are around at Easter or Thanksgiving, you can sit on and watch a tournament hosted by the club. You can also check out the outdoor Cricket Field in Nassau , where professional games are played during weekends in the summer.

The Bahamas Football Association hosts three teams: You can catch a Bahamas National Football League game when you visit the islands during football season.

Unfortunately, as of May , the league has never qualitfied or has qualified and withdrew for any major events such as the World Cup and the Gold Cup.

The Bahamas Football Association also hosts many community football events throughout the year, check with your concierge desk, or the local paper, for events during your visit.

Baseball came to the Bahamas via warships docked in the Nassau Harbour. Although the popularity of baseball by no means reaches the level of popularity the sport sees in the United States, there is a collection of both major league and minor league teams on the islands.

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