Belize Independence Day, celebrated on September 21, signifies a great achievement for the people of Belize, who fought for many years for their freedom from Great Britain. Each year, the entire nation celebrates a national holiday with parades, elaborate costumes, and music. It is also the most ideal time to visit this gorgeous country. Belize is a republic located on the eastern coast of Central America at the mouth of the Hondo River. It is bordered by Mexico to the northeast and Guatemala to the north.
The background of Belize Independence Day
Belize’s history extends back thousands of years. The Maya civilization flourished in the region of Belize between 1500 B.C. and 300 A.D., but inexplicably collapsed around 900 A.D. Several significant archeological sites, such as Caracol, Xunantunich, Lamanai, and Cerros, reflect the advanced civilization that flourished in this region long before Europeans arrived; today, these sites are among the most popular tourism destinations in Belize.
In 1638, Spain ceded the British ownership of the land as part of their “Bay Settlement.” After that date, they did not occupy or even visit the area for more than a century. However, other Europeans arrived, the majority of whom were buccaneers and loggers who used Belize as a base for their illicit activities. To secure their territory from pirates, Spain granted the British permission to cut logwood in 1763, resulting in a logwood boom that lasted for many years. During this period, pirates such as Henry Morgan became legendary; however, Spain did not recognize Britain’s claim to the territory until 1783.
Throughout the next century, tensions between Britain and Spain persisted as a result of Britain’s refusal to withdraw colonists from Spanish territory in neighboring Guatemala. Belize achieved independence from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981. Prior to 1973, it was known as British Honduras. In 1973, it became an independent colony. In 1973, the country’s name was altered to Belize to reflect the Maya heritage of its people. It became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1981, then joined the Organization of American States in 1990 and the United Nations in 1993.
Independence Day Activities in Belize
Attend a community parade.
Independence Day parades are typically held throughout Belize, commencing early in the morning and lasting until late afternoon. Join your fellow Belizeans as they dance to soca music and proudly wave the flag of their nation.. The largest ceremony takes place on Albert Street in Belize City, transforming the capital city into a sea of red, blue, and white as the marchers make their way down the main street.
Hold a barbeque.
In Belize, barbecues are one of the most common methods to celebrate Independence Day. Host a cookout with family and friends. If you are searching for a specific cuisine, serve traditional Belizean cuisine. Rice and beans, fry jacks, chin mole (a spicy soup), and bile up (a sweet delicacy made with rice flour) are among our favorites.
Observe pyrotechnics above the Caribbean Sea.
As night descends, fireworks of various hues light up the sky at various coastal locations. Enjoy a cocktail or ice cream cone from one of the many shops or restaurants that line The Placencia Sidewalk in Placencia village as you stroll along The Placencia Sidewalk.
5 OUTSTANDING FACTS ABOUT BELIZE
Belize has a population of only 355,000 individuals who inhabit an area of 22,966 square miles (approximately the size of Massachusetts).
The barrier reef of Belize is part of the second-largest reef system in the world, after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides an ideal habitat for fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, and sailing.
Jacques Cousteau, a well-known explorer and marine biologist, discovered the Great Blue Hole, a diving site in the center of an offshore coral atoll that frequently appears on lists of the world’s best diving sites.
The Mayan Empire extended over a thousand miles and encompassed present-day Belize.
Belize is home to six species of wild cats, including pumas and jaguars, and has the only nature reserve dedicated to protecting these large felines.
BELIZE INDEPENDENCE DAY DATES