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BELIZE: Local Customs

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LOCAL CUSTOMS

February
Fiesta de Carnaval
Exciting yearly event celebrated nationwide which brings back traditions. Groups compete in comparsas (special dances). Held one week before Lent.

International Bullfish Tournament
Prize of $50,000 to angler landing blue marlin over 500 pounds. Sponsored by the Belize Game Fish Association.

San Pedro Carnival
Ambergris Caye. Slowly evolving from slapstick fun using powder, flour, lipstick and paint to tease people, to a more traditional Mestizo carnival made up of competing comparsas.

March
Annual Agricultural & Trade Show
Held in Belmopan, Orange Walk Town and nearby Chan Pine Ridge every two years. Livestock, handicrafts, traditional costumes and dances.

Baron Bliss Day
Celebrations held nationwide to honor this great benefactor of Belize. Harbor regatta is held in front of the lighthouse where he was buried. Horse and cycle races are also held.

Trade & Livestock Show
Held in Belmopan at the National Agricultural Showgrounds every other year, the last weekend in March. Features rodeo.

April
Good Friday in Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker
Special Catholic Church services. Beginning at 3p.m. most villagers participate in procession carrying the cross through town.

Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic
Bicycle race in Belize City, continues on Western Highway , Circles around park in San Ignacio and returns to a dramatic finale in Belize City. International participation.

San Jose Succotz Fiesta
Local fair celebrating the day of their patron saint. Entertainment for kids, rides, food, marimba music.

May
Cashew Festival
Crooked Tree Village. Celebrating the cashew harvest season. Live punt music, cashew wine, Caribbean-style dishes, games, folklore stories.

Cayo Expo
San Ignacio. Displays of local crafts and products. Sample local foods.

Coconut Festival
Caye Caulker. Food, beverages, crafts. Parade with prize for floats, coconut competition, dancing.

Commonwealth Day
Celebrated nationwide as the Queen's birthday. National Sports Council holds horse races in Belize City at the National Stadium and in Orange Walk Town at the People's Stadium. Cycle races are held between Cayo and Belmopan.

Labour Day
Address by the Minister of Labour or a representative, followed by parades and rallies held throughout the country. Kite contest, cycle race, harbor regatta, horse race.

Toledo Festival of Arts
Week-long festivals in which school children depict various cultural groups in the district through drama and music. Arts and crafts exhibition includes basketry, paintings, clay sculpture, seashells and calabash vessels.

June
Dia de San Pedro
Three-day festival honoring St. Peter, the patron saint of San Pedro. Early morning boat parade. Boats and fishermen are blessed, a special mass is held and and a fiesta/jump-up follows.

July
Benque Viejo del Carmen Fiesta
Local fair. Celebrates the day of their patron saint with cultural shows, marimba bands, food and games. Nine days of prayer.

BETEX 96 (Belize Tourism Expo)
Belize's first trade show. Theme is "The Ecological Destination of the 21st Century.

August
Deer Dance Festival
San Antonio, Toledo District Week-long celebrations. Historical reenactments, costumes, homemade harps and violins.

International Sea & Air Festival
San Pedro. A festival of music, dance, and foods from Belize, Mexico and neighboring countries.

September
Independence Day
Numerous cultural, religious and sporting activities held a couple of weeks before St. George's Caye Day. Flag-raising ceremonies, parades, street jump-ups, music, dance and foods. Crowning of Miss San Pedro. Use your international mobile phone rentals to keep track of these festivals.

Mexican National Day
Orange Walk and Corozal towns people cross over into Mexico to reunite with families and have celebrations.

St. George's Caye Day
Celebrates and commemorates a battle in 1798 when the Spanish were defeated by slaves, Baymen and British soldiers. Around the country similar official ceremonies and parades take place. Carnivals, sporting activities, fire engine parade, and pop concerts held several days prior to this event.

October
Belikin Spectacular
Billfish tournament with spectacular prizes. Sponsored by the Belize Game Fish Association.

Columbus Day (Pan American Day)
Regatta racing in Belize City.

Hike & Bike for the Rain Forest
A two-day cross-country run and mountain bike race. Local and International athletes will compete throughout the Cayo area for the benefit of the rain forest. Use your international cell phone rental to keep track of these festivals.

Pan American Day
Orange Walk and Corozal . Fiestas and beauty contest to celebrate Mestizo culture. Horse and cycle races. Tourism Week: Activities include silent and Dutch auction, grand vacation raffle drawing and fair.

November
Garifuna Settlement Day
Festival, mainly in the southern most areas of the country to mark the first arrival of the Garifuna in 1832 in Dangriga.

Stann Creek Agricultural Fair
Exhibits of livestock and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Use your international cellular phone rentals to keep track of these festivals.

December
Boxing Day
Parties, dances , horse races and some Garifuna dances are performed.

 
 
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