Planning a trip to Belize in the near future? Whether you simply love visiting this country, or you’re looking for somewhere new to settle and want to see what Belize is all about, some of these events might be right up your alley. Each one is annual, so if you see one that you’ve missed already, plan it for next year’s visit!
Labor Day Celebrations
Every May, Belize hosts a Labor Day celebration. It begins with an address by the Minister of Labour, or a representative, and then there are parades and rallies held throughout the country. Whatever city you’re in, you’re likely to find kite contests and bicycle races. There is also a harbor regatta and a horse race. This year, the celebration will take place on May 1st.
Cashew Day falls in the early days of May, as well. The Cashew Festival is all about food and wine, and diners can enjoy freshly prepared Caribbean foods and sample local wines made from cashews – all while listening to live music! This year’s Cashew Festival will be held from May 6th – May 8th.
Week-Long Cultural Festivals
Starting May 10th, Belize will host week-long festivals in which children dress up to depict the different cultural groups of Belize through drama and music. Research the context around the festival in your area to learn more about which cultures will be represented and when!
Toledo Cacao Festival
This festival may be the tastiest yet, since it is held to recognize the Toledo district of Belize for its superior locally grown cacao beans. The cacao bean is a very important export for the country, and it’s exported in the form of delicious chocolate! Expect to eat lots of it on this holiday if you’re planning on spending any time in the Toledo district of southern Belize during the weekend of May 20th.
Since this holiday is held to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday, it’s going to be celebrated around the same time every year, toward the end of May. This year, it will be May 24th and 25th. The Queen’s actual birthday is April 21st, but her official birthday is June 2nd, and that’ the day that is more widely celebrated.
Sovereign’s Day is celebrated countrywide and the National Sports Council of Belize holds horse races in Belize City at the National Stadium and in Orange Walk Town at the People’s Stadium. If you won’t be in those cities, that’s okay, too, because there will be bicycling races held between Cayo and Belmopan as well!
Lobster season in Belize starts in June, and most cayes and cities and towns on the shores will be celebrating throughout the month. The locally caught spiny lobster is the star of the show in San Pedro’s Lobster Fest each June. You’ll be able to find it in many dishes at scattered booths and you can enjoy samples of it while listening to calypso and reggae music all around you.
Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX)
This event is the only non-annual event on this list. It is held every two years rather than every year. Hundred of tourism experts and professionals gather for this event to showcase Belize’s tourism for travel agent visitors to learn all about what Belize has to offer. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who wants to learn about all there is to see and do in this tropical country. This year, the expo will be from June 23rd to June 27th.
In the Corozal District of Belize, there is a traditional food fest you won’t want to miss. Pibil is a dish consisting of pork wrapped in banana leaf that is buried at the bottom of a fire pit to cook. It is a traditional Maya dish, and it is celebrated on June 30th this year in the village of Progresso in the Corozal District. Along with enjoying the cooked pibil, those celebrating will host activities that highlight the food.
Deer Dance Festival
This festival is held this year on August 1st, and it’s a famous Belizean festival of fun and laughter – celebrated in San Antonio, in the Toledo District. It is centered around and ritualized dance portraying the hunting of a deer and also involves attempts by those participating to scale a greased pole. This is truly a festival for fun and laughter.
San Pedro’s International Costa Maya Festival
This festival in the early days of August is the largest in Belize, and the only one of its kind. Leaders from the surrounding Mayan countries gather along with large crowds to see the re-enactment of events from Mayan pasts, and those who were affected by the by the Caste Wars and Mexican-American War come together to remember ceremonies that would otherwise be forgotten.
Festivities include traditional Maya dances, foods, and songs, along with the Miss Costa Maya beauty pageant, in which the girls compete for the title of La Reina de La Costa Maya.