Guide to Events and Festivals in Belize

Festivals in Belize

Belize in January

January 1st New Year’s Day

 

Celebrate New Year’s Day in Belize

 

January 1st Krem New Year’s Cycling Classic The KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic is a single day road cycling race held in Belize since 1992 on New Year’s Day, January 1, and is thus the first race on Belize’s cycling calendar. The race was restricted to elite and junior men until 2001, when females became eligible to ride.

 

January 1st Horse Racing in Burrell Boom Burrell Boom has the largest race track in Belize and these races are exciting

 

Third Monday in January Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day  

 

Martin Luther Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday, January 15.

 





Belize in

February

February 6 – 9 San Pedro Carnival Every year during the week before Lent, the town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye explodes with ecstatic demonstrations of singing, dancing, parades, flour fighting, and even a painting contest.

 

February – 7 Valentine Cycling Classic The Cycling Federation of Belize announced the 20th edition of the annual Valentine’s Classic as the DigiCell Valentine Mini Tour. The perennial road race for the first time will be but a part of a two day mini tour featuring a prologue and circuit race on day 1 and the road race on day two.

 

February – 18 Fiesta de Carnaval Nationwide celebrations and dance competition one week before lent.




Belize in

March

March 4 – 8 La Ruta Maya Canoe River Challenge A four day, 179 mile long canoe race along the Macal and Belize Rivers is held each year in March. The race is called the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, and brings competitors from many local villages celebrating their hard work as they make their way from San Ignacio Town to Belize City.

 

March – 10 Baron Bliss Day – public holiday. Celebrated with fishing, races, and the harbour regatta Baron Bill Day is a national holiday to honor Baron Bliss, a man known for his kind-heart and philanthropy. Most events in his honor are athletic, ranging from canoe races to regattas.

 

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

 

March – 12 San Cas Belmopan Cycling Classic This annual cycling event begins in Belize City and goes to the capital of Belmopan before returning to Belize City for the finish.

 

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

 

March – 25 Good Friday – public holiday Good Friday is one of the most peaceful days in the country. Minimal traveling is done on this day as most folks either stay home to be with their families. Radio and television stations broadcast religious programs, including live coverage of the Pope’s Good Friday Message and the procession around Rome’s Colosseum to mark Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death on Good Friday.

 

March – 26 Holy Saturday – public holiday Holy Saturday it is off to the races! Belizeans are nuts about cycling. The annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycle Race, a grueling 140 mile pedal race, runs from Belize City to San Ignacio-Santa Elena in the west, and back to Belize City. It causes the country to shut down for another day – well, at least most of the day. The race takes up the entire Western Highway paralyzing traffic from 5 in the morning until 2pm, so travelers are well advised to make their plans accordingly. The first cross country cycle race was held in 1928 and was won by Elston Kerr. The race has its roots in colonial era Belize when poor people had to cycle from village to village to watch cricket and football matches due to non-existent public transport and terrible roads. Following the race, most municipalities have fairs and dances.

 

March – 26 Holy Saturday Cycling Classic from Belize City to San Ignacio and back The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is a one-day amateur cycling race held in Belize every year during the Easter holidays. It is Belize’s biggest cycling event and has begun to be recognized internationally.

 

March – 26 Holy Saturday Regatta Regatta in Caye Caulker for both sail and powerboats

 

March 26 – 27 San Ignacio Easter Fair Two-day fair with music, games, sports and fun for the whole family

 

March – 27 Easter Sunday Easter Sunday is observed with mass celebrating the Resurrection of Christ and is a time when families get together, visit each other, share meals or have picnics. It is a time when Christians proclaim their faith and strengthen their ties to God. In the afternoons, many municipalities hold football games and fairs.

 

March – 28 Easter Monday – public holiday Easter Monday is when the Easter celebrations begin to wind down. There are still a few fairs being held throughout the country including one at Burrel Boom in the Belize District which also hosts horse races. Almost all municipal towns host fairs and afternoon dances to close off the long weekend. Tuesday it is back to work and start to think of the next long weekend for another opportunity to enjoy this wonderful country we all love.

 

March 28 – 30 San Jose Succotz Festival San Jose Succotz Village is a destination for the escapists. You will find yourselves reveling in the essence of this little remote region of Belize while enjoying the annual attractions that the 3-day San Jose Succotz Festival offers.




Belize in

April

April – 1 Green & Loggerhead Turtle Season Ends

 

Catching and sale of these turtles is illegal until 1 November
 

April 1 – 15

Travelling Exhibition
 

April – 7

Cycling Classic
April – 9 Easter Monday / Burrell Boom Cycle & Horse Races Easter Fair Easter Monday is when the Easter celebrations begin to wind down. There are still a few fairs being held throughout the country including one at Burrel Boom in the Belize District which also hosts horse races. Almost all municipal towns host fairs and afternoon dances to close off the long weekend. Tuesday it is back to work and start to think of the next long weekend for another opportunity to enjoy this wonderful country we all love.

 

April – 15 Shrimp Season Ends Catching and sale of shrimp is illegal until 15 August

 

April 23 – 27 Book Week Book Week ended on April 27th in the Cayo District, after a three- day series of events for which the book industry had an opportunity to celebrate under the theme, “Books: Food For the mind”. Under the stewardship of the Belize Book Industry Association (BBIA), it was an occasion to enjoy the gift of books and also to meet their authors directly.

 

April 24 – 25 San Pedro Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge Lagoon-Reef Eco Challenge 10, Kayak Race inAmbergris Caye

 

Cross Country Classic Bicycle race 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.

 

April – 30 Treaty with Guatemala On 30th April 1859, the Governments of Guatemala and the United Kingdom signed the Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty defining the border between Guatemala and British Honduras (now Belize)




Belize in

May

1st May and ends on 3rd of May National Agricultural & Trade Show The National Agriculture & Trade Show (NATS) is Belize’s leading agricultural show which is organized by the National Agriculture & Trade Show Committee in collaboration with the Ministry Natural Resources and Agriculture.

 

May – 1 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.

 

May 6 – 8 Cashew Festival May brings Cashew Day, a food and wine event, to Belize. Guests dine on finely prepared Caribbean dishes and sample local wine made from the fruit of the cashew tree, while listening to live music.

 

May – 10 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.

 

May – 11 Dia de las Madres Mother’s Day, celebration with a religious ceremony in the evening followed by a dinner at Central Park with cultural presentations, until midnight
May – 13 Female Cross Country Cycling Classic
May 20 – 22 Toledo Cacao Festival Cacao is native to the Americas, and the Toledo District of southern Belize is recognized for its superior cacao. These cacao beans are a significant export crop and, within country, are transformed into distinctive and high quality chocolate.

 

May – 24 / May – 25 Sovereign’s Day Sovereign’s 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.

 

Cayo Expo: San Ignacio Local crafts and products. Coconut Festival Caye Caulker. Food, beverages, crafts. Parade with prize for floats.




Belize in

June

June 1 – 30 Whale Shark Watching From 3 days before the full moon to 3 days after the last quarter from March to June, whale sharks feed in the waters of southern Belize

 

June – 1 Hicatee Season Opens Catching and sale of hicatee turtles is legal

 

June – 1 Officially Named Belize On 1 June, 1973, the name of the Commonwealth territory, British Honduras, was changed to Belize

 

June 1 – 2 / June 20 – 21 Mayan Equinox The events at Caracol were held to celebrate the beginning of spring, or the spring equinox, a time when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward or away from the sun because the center of the sun is in the same plane as the equator. As a result, night and day are of equal length.

 

June 12 – 19 San Pedro Lobster Fest Marks the start of lobster season

 

June – 15 Lobster Season Opens Celebrations are held on many cayes and in coastal towns

 

June 15 – 21 / June 14 – 21 San Pedro Lobster Fest Locally caught spiny lobster is the focus of the San Pedro Lobster Fest each June. Booths of the lobster in various states are set up for guests to sample, while calypso and reggae beats play in the background.

 

June – 16 Lamanai Canoe Challenge
June – 21 Summer Solstice Activities at many larger Mayan ruins

 

June 23 – 27 BETEX (Belize Tourism Expo) Belize’s first trade show The event, held every 2 years, brought together approximately 200 local and international tourism professionals and media representatives. BETEX is an opportunity to showcase Belize’s Tourism, created an environment for trade visitors (travel agents) to connect directly with Belizean Tourism suppliers to find out what Belize has to offer.

 

June 22 – 24 Placencia Lobster Fest The 11th Annual Placencia Lobsterfest

 

June 25 – 27 Placencia Lobster Fest Placencia Fishermen’s Day Saltwater Fishing Tournament

 

June 26 – 29 Archaeology Symposium The 11th Annual Placencia Lobsterfest

 

June – 29 Día de San Pedro (San Pedro Day) a three day celebration in honour of San Pedro’s namesake and Patron Saint. The celebration will take place on the 29th Feast Day of St. Peter

 

June – 30 Pibil Fest Progresso Village, Corozal District, Belize
A traditional way to cook the pork wrapped in banana leaf, it is buried in a pit with fire at the bottom to roast it. The Maya word “pibil” means “buried”. A host of activities is held in the village of Progresso, where the highlight is the Pibil.




Belize in

July

June 30 – July 2 The 8th annual Belize Archaeology Symposium (BAS)

 

This Year: Status and power in ancient maya society
July 1 – 2 – 3 Caye Caulker Lobster Festival Caye Caulker is small enough and their Lobsterfest (THE ORIGINAL BELIZE FESTIVAL) is big enough so that it seems to take over the whole island. Sun and sand, gorgeous water and swimming kids, loud music, dancing and tons of food and drink – there is something for everyone and it’s a full family affair.

 

July 13 – 17 Belize Film Festival The Belize International Film Festival is an international film festival held annually in Belize City, Belize since 2003.

 

July – 15 Benque Viejo Fiesta 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.

 

July 16 – 24 Belize International Film Festival Bliss Center for performing Arts Overlooking the harbour from the Southern Foreshore near the Supreme Court, this building houses the Institute of Creative Arts and hosts cultural and arts events throughout the year. Renovated and expanded in 2004, the Bliss Centre’s 600-seat theatre is headquarters for the Belize International Film Festival in February. A drama series, children’s festivals, dance, art displays, and other cultural and musical performances take place at various times. It also houses a small art gallery with a George Gabb sculpture, Sleeping Giant, which appears as the watermark on Belize five-dollar bills.

 

July 16 – 17 Belize National Fire Service Olympiad Located at Yarborough Field, Belize City




Belize in

August

August – 1 Deer Dance Festival A uniquely Belizean experience, the Deer Dance Festival is held in the Mayan village of San Antonio in Belize’s southern Toledo District. The event features a ritualized dance emulating the hunting of a deer, followed by locals attempting to scale a greased pole. Hilarity ensues!

 

August – 1 International Costa Maya Festival The Costa Maya Festival is a week-long celebration that brings musical groups, artists and beauty queens from the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica.

 

August 5 – 8 San Pedro’s International Costa Maya Festival Costa Maya Festival is the only festival of its kind in Central America. It is the biggest festival in Belize, as well as the highlight of Ambergris Caye’s entertainment year

 

August 12 – 15 Tres Pescados Slam Tournament Tres Pescado Slam Tournament in San Pedro for tarpon, permit and bonefish. The tournament will also involve the Ambergris Caye community with casting competitions and boat poling competitions with prizes and trophies as well as fly fishing and fly tying demonstrations all held each day in Central park

 

August 17 – 19 San Joaquin Fiesta The San Joaquin Fiesta is receiving more attention as the years go by; in fact, it has become the biggest event the village hosts. The Fiesta is in celebration of the village’s patron saint: San Joaquin,” said Marceli Tzul, Chairperson of the San Joaquin Village Council. “Every year, we first pay tribute to our Saint and then the party begins. The general public is invited to join the celebration




Belize in

September

Queen of the Bay Pageant
September – 10 Fire Engine Parade in Belize City The traditional Fire Engine Parade roared through the old capital’s principal streets, featuring participation from the National Fire Service, Police, BERT Ambulance Service as well as a float from Digicell.

 

September – 10 Public & Bank Holiday in Celebration of the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day 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.

 

September – 12 Carnival King and Queen The King and Queen of Carnival will lead the parade in Belize City scheduled, as September/Independence Day Celebrations are well underway in the country.

 

September 12 – 13 Belize Expo – Expo Belize
 

September – 13

 

BTB/San Cas Cycling Classic

September – 17 Carnival Road March The Carnival Road March took place and saw thousands of Belizeans making their way to Belize City for the highly anticipated event. Held annually since 1975 as part of the September Celebrations, carnival has been growing each year and has become one of the biggest shows of culture and patriotism in the country. The event starts with pre-dawn J’ouvert and ends with a jump up party at BTL Park immediately after the parade.

 

September – 21 Belize Independence Day Ceremonies and Parade Independence Day September 21st 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.




Belize in

October

October – 9 / Octboer – 12 Columbus Day / Pan American Day Columbus Day/Pan American Day is celebrated throughout Belize each October with various events. Some cities hold beauty pageants, while others hold music festivals or celebrate with a parade through town.
October 12 – 14 World Indigenous Music Festival
Belikin Spectacular Bullfish tournament with spectacular prizes. Sponsored by the Belize Game Fish Association.

 

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.

 

October – 31 Halloween While most of Central America celebrates the Latin-base day of the Dead or All Souls Day, Belize follows the North Americans Halloween tradition with ostentatious customes , trick-or-treating and extreme partying. Placcencia on particular is great for this; being small means the action take place in one spot, and the whole town gets invloved




Belize in

November

November – 19 Garifuna Settlement Day Each November, the local Garifuna people begin their celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day with a reenactment of their peoples first arrival to Belize in 1832. The day continues on in celebration with great food, music, and dance.

 

November 22 – 24 Dance X Belize
Stann Creek Agricultural Fair Exhibits of livestock and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

 

November – 27 San Pedro Township Celebration San Pedro was declared a town by the government of Belize in 1984 and November 27th is observed as Township Day. The local government Town Board organizes annual events including boat races, fishing tournaments, parades, musical entertainment and a small festival to celebrate the occasion.




Belize in

December

December – 5 Holiday Boat Lighting Parade Annual Boat Parade in San Pedro
 

December – 12

 

Mass Wedding

December 20 – 21 Mayan Solstice Festival  

This winter solstice, immerse yourself in the Mayan world

 

December – 24 Christmas Eve Midnight mass all over town.

 

December – 25 Christmas Day
December – 26 Kwanzaa Holiday celebrated by many Belizean-Americans.

 

December – 27 Boxing Day, Horse Race & Cycle Race While Christmas Day is predominantly for the family in Belize, Boxing Day is a chance to continue the celebration with friends, neighbors, and strangers. Dances, concerts, horse races, and general festivities are put on around the country. December 26.

 

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