Holiday Traditions in Belize

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Christmas in Belize is magical, with many of the familiar elements of the holidays.  Belizeans enjoy shopping, gift-giving, and decorating their homes with traditional Christmas trees and lights.  With our year-round tropical climate, however, there is no need for winter coats and snow boots.  The weather is perfect for the beach and the countless other outdoor adventure activities available in Belize. 

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Cleaning, home upgrades, decorating, baking and socializing are the highlights of the holidays, and with so many ethnic groups, the celebrations are truly multi-cultural.  The most important common factor?  Belizeans enjoy spending time with loved ones, and throughout the holidays, they visit and welcome family and friends.  It truly is the occasion to eat, drink, and be merry.  Local rums, wines and rum popo are shared generously. Typical meals include baked turkey with stuffing, ham, rice and beans, potato salad, and cranberry sauce. expired domain list . The Mestizo dish, Relleno (a black recado soup served with hot corn tortillas) is typically prepared during the holidays, as is tamales. Black and white fruit cakes are the desserts of choice.

With a predominantly Christian population in Belize, religious ceremonies to celebrate the birth of Christ are held regularly throughout the season and are well attended.  In most towns, Christmas trees are lit, children sing Christmas carols, and residents attend church services.  Las Posadas (which includes a procession and reenactment of the nativity) are also held in some areas, including Benque Viejo del Carmen in the west.  In Toledo, the Maya people celebrate with the Deer Dance, and on the island of Ambergris Caye, a lighted boat parade is the highlight. Fishing boats and other watercrafts are decorated with lights for a night parade near the shore.

In Dangriga, the culture capital of Belize, visitors can experience the Wanaragua or Jonkunu dance, which is traditionally performed during the Christmas season. The performance is an imitation of the European slave masters.  The origin of this masked dance dates back to when the Garifuna inhabited Saint Vincent, and they resisted attacks from British colonizers. The dance adopts the disguise that the Garifuna warrior utilized as a strategic defense against the British. Dressed as women, the male warriors took the troops by surprise. In the Wanaragua, the dancer is always male but wears an elaborate woman’s dress that reaches the knees or below. The costume also consists of a mask, headdress, colored ribbons, mirrors, golden papers, and decorated shells.  The dance is accompanied by skillful Garifuna drumming, a sight to behold.

The Christmas season is a time of togetherness and relaxation, and Belizeans welcome visitors to enjoy the many local festivities and traditions.  So, if you’re looking for a luxurious home away from home for the holidays, Villa Verano is the place to be.  From our management and staff, we wish you Happy Holidays!

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