Christmas and New Year’s Eve Festivities in Belize

December on through the ringing in of the New Year is a wonderful time to visit Belize. With plenty of warm weather, gorgeous sunshine, and lots of activities to enjoy, it’s no wonder that more and more visitors are discovering the natural beauty of Belize.

Since 1987, Island Expeditions have been offering visitors a chance to enjoy fantastic adventures in Belize. Island Expeditions leads the way in Adventure Travel with a dozen combinations of exciting multi-sport, educational, and natural history tours to choose from, including parasailing the Belize Barrier Reef, white-water rafting, snorkeling, kayaking, climbing ancient Maya pyramids, and zip lining through the jungle.

December and all of the holidays are also a great time to experience local color in Belize. Visitors can witness parades through all of the major cities where Santa and his merry band of elves distribute goodies to the crowds and marvel at the local tradition of boat “parades” where flotillas of gaily-decorated vessels line up and sail past sites like Ambergris Caye and the Placencia Peninsula.

Locals and visitors alike can revel in both Spanish and English-language caroling or simply enjoy the festive lights that adorn most cities and towns. In areas of the country like Dangriga where there is a strong Garifuna community, the Christmas season is a time for traditional Joncunu dances where participants don painted masks to imitate Europeans and dance to the rhythms of traditional Garifuna drums.

Other local traditions include The Grand Ball where participants perform traditional ballroom dances, horse racing in the village of Burrell Boom, and Las Posadas, a Catholic ritual where the statues of Mary and Joseph are paraded through the street in a recreation of the Biblical search for room at the inn. In Maya communities like Punta Gorda in Belize’s Toledo District, groups of dancers don animal costumes to perform the traditional Deer Dance.

When it comes to food, Belizeans love to celebrate the holidays with lots of delicious dishes. Probably the most iconic fare in Belize for Christmas is a healthy serving of turkey, ham, stuffing, and lots of rice and beans. In other areas, Mexican-influenced cuisine choices like tamales or relleno are part of the Christmas menu. Belizeans from all walks of life enjoy sipping on rumpope (similar to eggnog) and sampling black fruit cake for dessert.

Whether you’re looking for a down home experience of Christmas and New Year’s in Belize or want a heart-pounding adventure with lots of excitement, Island Expeditions can craft the perfect travel itinerary for your needs.

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