The people of Belize love to celebrate, so it's always easy to find a great festival, parade, or holiday when you come to Belize. Below are four of the top Belizean festivals you should definitely attend this year:
There are several distinct holidays in September, but the whole month is one long celebration of patriotic pride. The September festival season begins with St. George's Caye Day on September 10 that marks the historic 1798 naval battle when the British triumphed over a Spanish flotilla that led to Belize becoming Britain's only colony in Central America.
The triumphant apex of the September holiday season is September 21, the day that commemorates Belize becoming an independent country in 1981. Throughout the month of September, every town and village will be awash in red, white, and blue (the colors of the Belizean flag), as well as parades, live music, poetry recitals, and dancing in the streets.
Fishing is heavily regulated in Belize, so everyone celebrates with gusto when the lobster season opens on June 15. All up and down the coast, towns and villages compete to see who can offer up the most delicious lobster dishes, including lobster rolls, lobster curries, grilled lobster, steamed and buttered lobster, and dozens of other varieties. Along with all the tasty crustacean dishes, expect beach parties, lots of dancing, games, booths selling artwork and handicrafts, and tons of live music.
Some of the best places to celebrate Lobsterfest include San Pedro, the capital of the island of Ambergris Caye, the Placencia Peninsula, and Caye Caulker.
Garifuna Settlement Day
Four centuries ago, the British began importing enslaved Africans to work on their sugar plantations in the Caribbean. After intermarrying with local Caribbean islanders, the Garifuna people later rebelled against the British and were forced to flee westward. In Belize, November 19 is when the entire nation celebrates Garifuna Settlement Day to mark the arrival of the Garifuna on their shores in a flotilla of dugout canoes.
The Garifuna Settlement Day festivities begin with a dawn re-enactment of the canoe landing, followed by lots of traditional Garifuna drumming, music, dancing, and feasting on classic Garifuna dishes like hudut (a kind of soup made with fish and plantains) and cassava bread.
International Costa Maya
Originally a celebration of Maya culture in the region, International Costa Maya Festival has become one of the most popular festivals in the country. Held every year in San Pedro, this three-day event features a beauty pageant, concerts performed by renowned musicians, stand-up comedy, games, parades, dancing in the street, speeches by dignitaries and government officials, and plenty of delicious food.
Caves Branch Lodge in Belize is the perfect place to enjoy all of these wonderful festivals. Caves Branch offers Belize reef and rainforest packages so that visitors can experience all the best that Belize has to offer.