Why would you want to visit Belize in September? Like many other Caribbean nations, Belize uses any excuse to throw vivacious festivals and parades. However, the ones in September are completely warranted as this is the month the party-meter reaches astronomical levels as thousands of visitors can attest to every year. The reason? Belize’s Independence Day.
Belize gained its Independence from Great Britain and was formerly known as British Honduras. After earning independence in 1981, Belize was officially on its own, and that in itself was worth celebrating. Now, while Belize’s actual birthday is the 21st of September, the festivities begin way before then. This year, as the small-but-mighty country turns the big 4-0, many are yearning for the rambunctious events that put the heart and soul of Belize on display: it’s colorful people. While this year’s Independence festivities may look a little different than previous years, visiting Belize in September should still be on your bucket list.
Traditions + Festivities in Belize in September
Kicking off the September Celebrations is the flag-raising ceremony in the old capital of Belize, Belize City, on September 1. Whereas Independence Day is celebrated only on July 4th in the United States, Belize holds the entire month of September hostage to douse it in as many celebratory events as possible. Each year, a special theme and a calendar of events is released, which outlines all the activities you can partake in. These themes – submitted by the general public – often reflect the wishes and hopes for the country, and gratitude towards every tribulation Belize may have gone through that year. The theme this year is “Hopeful Hearts, Steady hands, Together we rise,” a testament to Belizeans’ resilience in a pandemic era.
Battle of St. George’s Caye
The first big event of the month is September 10th. On this day, the Battle of St. George’s Caye is remembered – a historical event that took place more than two centuries ago. This battle revolved around the British settlers, buccaneers and slaves defeating the Spaniards off the coast of Belize from taking over territory. Now, the day is commemorated as a national holiday, with a ceremony in Belize City attended by politicians, VIP diplomats and the Governor General of Belize. A small parade with schools, organizations and devout patriots snakes its way through downtown Belize City. This event is but a sneak peek of what’s to come as the energy ramps up to peak on September 21st.
Carnival Parades + Jouvert highlights for Belize in September
The parades held during this time, known as carnivals, are arguably the highlight of September Celebrations. More than one are held across the country, with Belize City’s – one of the most highly anticipated – taking place mid-September. Preceding this Carnival Road march is a night/morning of pure debauchery the youth of Belize participate in called Jouvert. Beginning at 4 a.m, Belizeans flood the streets to get drenched in paint, mud and other glittery substances as they dance, revel and overall celebrate the country’s Independence. Usually lasting a few hours, Jouvert culminates after dawn, allowing the people to rest a bit before witnessing the carnival road march later on that afternoon.
September 21st – Belize’s Independence Day
The other highly attended event that is the place to be on actual Independence Day is Orange Walk Town’s parade. Most Belizeans make the journey up to the tacos capital of Belize for a day promising one of the best parades in the country. Lasting more than two hours, the parade winds through the Northern town – a sea of red, white and blue watching from the sidelines. Innovative floats, creative choreography and a kaleidoscope of costumes undulate through the streets – a collective moment that brings together both Belizeans and visitors. The Belizean diaspora join in from afar virtually – now a component that many of us will have to turn to during these unprecedented times. And while these festivities have been reduced significantly for this year, there are still ways to connect virtually and soak in the jubilee by following the Belize National Celebrations Commissions Facebook Page.
Special offers + Shoulder Season Perks to travel to Belize in September
As if those festivities weren’t enough, there are many travel offers around this time. If you’re staying in San Ignacio during festival season, for instance, here at Chaa Creek we’ll be offering Happy Hour on the 21st of September with Belize Distillery cocktail specials! You can enjoy all the patriotic decorations while listening to vintage carnival music and sipping on celebratory cocktails.
Apart from the festivities and special offers, there’s one more reason visiting Belize in September is well worth the trip: Shoulder season perks. The buzz around Belize tends to rise as December creeps in, which means more people are looking to travel during this time. The pandemic may have forced many of us to travel in the off season for safety, but did you know there are great benefits to traveling before high season? For instance, lower airfare and flexible bookings! This, paired with great travel offers, make for a great, convenient vacation.
Chaa Creek is our own homegrown award-winning resorts offering a great Book 4, Pay 3 offer. Running from now until November 14, 2021, guests will be able to book 4 nights but only pay for 3, meaning you get to extend your vacation with one free night. The offer itself is great for those traveling in the shoulder season, which includes September. To see what all the offer includes, visit our travel offers landing page here.
So you can see, there are unrelenting reasons as to why you should visit the Jewel in September. The festivities listed here merely scratch the surface of other events scattered throughout the month, and the offers are too good to pass up.
If you need help planning your shoulder season getaway, contact our concierge at +1-877-709-8708.