September is definitely the most festive time to be in Belize, and Belizeans certainly know how to celebrate BIG! It’s the time when work slows down and everyone looks forward to the different patriotic events and colorful festivals celebrated countrywide. The entire country shows off their national colors – red,white and blue, and those living abroad come home as visitors flood the country join the month long festivities.
1. September 10th – The Battle of St. George’s Caye Day.
This year marks the 215th anniversary of the final attempt made by the Spanish to oust the British settlers (Baymen) from Belize (our main reason for being the only English speaking nation in Central America). On this day, in 1798, the Baymen defended their tiny settlement against a huge Spanish invasion, and – against all odds – black men and white men who fought courageously side by side, without the loss of a single life, and won! There are official ceremonies in the morning followed by parades and all-day dancing and parties in the streets known as Bramming or Jump-up.
2. Queen of the Bay Pageants
The Queen of the Bay Pageant is a time-honored tradition held annually with many beautiful young ladies vying for the coveted title. Their names will go down in the history books as the year’s “Emblem of Freedom.” One winner is selected from all the participants countrywide and officially crowned amid fanfare and grand pomp and circumstance. It’s a highlight of the September celebrations!
3. J’ouvert and Carnival Road March
J’ouvert is an early dawn pre-carnival event where individuals paint themselves with colored mud, imbibe alcohol and dance to the tune of Calypso, Soca and Reggae Music. Belize’s Carnival Road March is a people-packed fusion of culture, color and creativity in which the young and old, men, women and children are willing participants in a display of energy, revelry and Bacchanal. It is seen as a celebration of freedom and abandonment. Thousands of spectators that come out to watch the spectacle.
4. National Song Competition
The National Song Competition is an annual song contest that provides opportunities for both aspiring and established song writers to have their music heard in a professional and respected environment. The competition is designed to nurture the talent of musicians and vocalists on all levels and promote excellence in the art of music in Belize. Belizean artists come out in all their glory with original presentations and performances. The winner’s song becomes the highlight of the entire month of celebrations!
5. September 21st – Independence Day
Whether you are a first-time visitor to Belize or a returning resident coming home to joyfully reminisce, this year’s September Celebrations are sure to get you up and moving to the Belizean beat. And there’s no better time come out and celebrate with us than during Belize’s 32nd birthday on September 21st, our Independence Day! We invite you to come and enjoy our history, music, culture, food and party with the wonderful Belizean people! See you here soon!