Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Holidays--Be Prepared!

So our conversation with our new friends covered Belizian holidays. They marveled at how the holidays in the US were celebrated by the few, while many still worked. They cited stores remaining open during the holidays and employees being required to work.

In Belize a holiday is just that--a holiday, no work for most. These celebrations can last more than one day!!  Everything is closed for the duration! More time to party! 

 Words to the wise: "Be prepared"

Make sure you have enough food and beverage to last. Shop before noon the day before the holiday to make sure you have a good selection and variety of choice. I guess it's like shopping under a winter storm or hurricane advisory here in the states--at the last minute everyone needs bread, milk and toilet paper!!!

Holidays can be subject to arbitrary last minute changes by local authorities! Example - The Cabinet of Ministers of Belize agreed to declare March 7, 2012 as a "one-off" bank holiday to coincide with the election day. Rumor has it that Columbus Day may be moved to October 15 this year.

Here's a list of Belizean national holidays for the remainder of 2012:

Many of these are new celebrations to US expats, so I've added a brief description of the "why" for each holiday.

October 2012
    12 and/or 15 - Columbus aka Day of the Americas or Pan American 
         Celebrated by fishing tournaments, parades, beauty contests and music. Most
            festivities can be found in Cayo, Orange Walk and Corozal where the Mestizo
            culture is predominant.
  • A national celebration of Mestizo culture, takes place annually on October 12. I heard it may be moved to Monday, October 15.....
November 2012
      19 - Garifuna Settlement Day
            Celebrated by parades and presentations of Garifuna culture and music, 
            especially in Dangriga.
  • This national holiday celebrates the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize in 1832, takes place annually on November 19.
December 2012
      25 - Christmas Day
            Celebrated traditionally, by gift giving, tree decorating and family feasts.  
            Uniquely Belizian is the introduction of Deer Dance, cultural foods and music.
  • This national holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus, takes place annually on December 25.
     26 - Boxing Day
            Celebrated in Belize with parties, concerts, horse racing and door-to-door 
            neighbor visiting.
  • Also known as St. Stephen's Day, this national holiday has it's roots in long-ago Britain with a tradition of giving gifts to the less fortunate, often coins in a box as a Yultide "tip"--gifts to equals were exchanged on or before Christmas Day. Takes place annually on December 26.
Thanks to:;;


  1. pretty much nothing gets accomplished for the 2 weeks around Christmastime. At least from the 23rd til Jan. 3--for real! Stores are open off and on, but if you have workers, count on them being off!

    1. Good to know! Our new friends didn't tell us about the 2 week holiday! We'll definitely need to be prepared for that one! Thanks!