Belize Holidays

National Holidays in Belize

National holidays in Belize are much more important to the population than our holidays are to the population of the US. On most of the holidays listed below the whole country of Belize practically shuts down, with drastically reduced transportation services, closed schools, no news services, and no public services (banks, government offices, etc) in operation. Belize knows how to celebrate! Don’t worry though, tourism is the lifeblood of the economy. Tourist services such as tours, hotels, and restaurants do not close, even for Christmas.

Belize Adventure Holiday

If you are looking for an adventure holiday with excellent adventure sports equipment, and instruction, consider our private island at Glover’s Reef. Our Adventure Island package is all-inclusive… there are no hidden costs, you can put your wallet away for the entire time that you are on the island. All inclusives definitely take the money stress out of your Belize holiday.

Carnival

San Pedro Carnival
Ian Morton

Related Blog Post: Baron Bliss Day

Related Blog Post: Garifuna Settlement Day

[photo credit at top of page: TonyRath.com]

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Belize Public and Bank Holidays

January 1 – New Year’s Day

This is a traditional holiday just like in the US, everything is closed while people recover from the celebrations the night before.

March 9 – Baron Bliss Day

This national holiday commemorates Baron Bliss, an eccentric German financier who left Belize with a huge endowment upon his death. It is said that he never set foot on Belizean soil, but he loved to rest in Belize Harbor on his yacht.

Holy Thursday – Good Friday – Holy Saturday – Easter Sunday – Easter Monday
Easter is the biggest holiday of the year and is a five day event. It begins with everything shutting down early on Holy Thursday. Stores are often sold out, almost all services are shut down, and it is impossible to do anything other than sit tight and enjoy where you are (hopefully at a resort!)

May 1 – Labor Day

This holiday commemorates the working people of Belize, the same as our Labor Day in the US except on a different day. May 1st is a holiday in many countries of the world, and originally celebrated the coming of spring. It had its origins in the middle ages to celebrate surviving the Black Death.

May 24 – Commonwealth Day

This is a British holiday which Belize has adopted as part of their heritage as a former colony.

September 10 – St. George’s Caye Day

This holiday celebrates the great victory in battle with the Spanish in the late 1700s. This was a Spanish campaign to take over the British colony.

September 21 – Independence Day

The day Belize gained independence from Britain in 1981.

October 12 – Columbus Day

This is the same holiday we observe in the US, to celebrate the discovery of the new world by Columbus in 1492.

November 19 – Garifuna Settlement Day

This day commemorates the arrival of the Garifuna people in Belize from the Bay Islands of Honduras. This ethnic group originally inhabited St. Vincent Island in the lesser Antilles in the far eastern region of the Caribbean, and are ancestors of escaped slaves who inter-married with the native Carib Indians. They were forcibly re-located to the Bay Islands by the British, from where they spread out to surrounding areas, including Belize, as their population grew.

December 25 – Christmas Day

This traditional Christian holiday is celebrated in Belize, as everywhere in our hemisphere.

December 26 – Boxing Day

This is another traditional British holiday following Christmas, where everyone ‘boxes’ up their gifts.

Fire party on Long Caye
Mads Modeweg

Dance party on Long Caye, Belize
Mads Modeweg

Christmas on the island, Long Caye at Glover's Reef
Mads Modeweg

Sunset party at Glovers Atoll
Elsa Berger