Your Guide to September Celebrations in Belize
Belize in September: a flurry of red, white, and blue everywhere you look, a sense of wonder and festivities in the air. The occasion? Belize’s birthday! September 21 is celebrated with style and enthusiasm every year in Belize. After centuries of being under Britain’s rule, Belize finally gained full sovereignty in 1981, making it a relatively young country. Now, after a two-year hiatus, Belize’s independence celebrations are back in full swing, and we couldn’t be more ready to honor our country with pride.
September Celebrations in Belize are truly something special — our residents don’t just honor the day, but also host events leading up to the birthday bash. Every year, there’s a theme to reflect the year. For the 2022 September theme, “Valiant and Bold, Proud and Strong…Belize Rebounds at 41!” was crowned the winner.
If you’re planning a trip to Belize in the fall, September is the ideal time to visit since you’ll witness the country at its most patriotic (not to mention, there will be excellent shoulder season prices and rarely any tourists). Below we offer the best tips to navigate September Celebrations in Belize.
Battle of St George’s Caye
On September 10th, Belize celebrates one of its most important days in history. In 1798, the Spaniards and British “fought” over who Belize belonged to in a week-long naval “battle” off the coast of St. George’s Caye. Britain rose triumphant, and now the day is celebrated as a national holiday every year with a vibrant uniform parade. Scores of students, dignitaries, and fellow Belizeans flock to the streets of downtown Belize City to show off their flag’s colors. Make sure to arrive bright and early before the day’s festivities begin. That way you’ll have a front-row seat to the magic unfolding on the streets.
Marches and Lively Parades
Speaking of magic, September will also be chock-full of parades and marches throughout the entire country. Arguably one of the most highly anticipated is the Orange Walk parade on September 21. Throngs of dancers in kaleidoscopic costumes sway down the town streets, dancing to reggae and soca music. Bystanders usually join in the fun, showing off their own moves and cheering on the talent. Floats, bands, and even well-known fellow Belizean residents snake their way through the town. Other villages and towns in Belize host their own marches as well on different days.
Steel pans reverberating through the air, drum beats stirring the city alive, and soca music thumping along to your heartbeat. This is but a small window into what Belize will look like come September. Many live concerts and musical events take place during this time, as well as music competitions such as Steel Pan. This year, a Soca festival is also taking place on the beloved island of San Pedro. Keep a handy list of the important dates so you don’t miss a concert.
Carnival & J’ouvert
Carnival is the one event you can’t miss – with a riotous display of color and extravagant outfits, glitter, and art taking over the streets in Belize City. While there are similar versions held in other Caribbean countries, the carnival in Belize truly encapsulates the pride and patriotism of the people. Thousands of bystanders – both Belizean and travelers – wake up bright and early to snag the best spot to watch the festivities unfold. The actual carnival road march may start in the evening, but the partying begins before dawn on carnival day with j’ouvert. An event aimed at the youth of Belize, J’ouvert begins at 4 a.m. when partygoers engage in paint fights and revelry. If you have the energy – and the stamina – to attend j’ouvert, it’s an experience that sets the precedent to what September will be like in Belize.
Plan the perfect September Belize Vacation
If you’ve made up your mind to visit Belize during this festive time, a reliable and chic resort like Hidden Valley Inn can help you plan your stay. Hidden Valley may be tucked in the forests of Mountain Pine Ridge, but our hospitable and friendly staff will be more than happy to make your September itinerary happen without a hitch. After you’ve spent all your energy on dancing and jumping and singing at the top of your lungs in parades, retreat to the tranquil jungles of Hidden Valley for much-needed rest and recuperation.