Wanaragua and Holiday Celebrations in Southern Belize

Travel south to escape harsh winters and enjoy Wanaragua and other holiday celebrations in Belize. With a predominantly Christian population, religious ceremonies are held regularly throughout the season and fireworks are very common to celebrate the New Year. The Garinagu celebrate the Christmas holidays with the dancing of the Wanaragua or Jankunu, and the Villa Verano team is always eager to share these cultural experiences with guests. The performance, which is an imitation of the European slave masters, dates back to when the Garifuna inhabited Saint Vincent, and they resisted attacks from British colonizers.

img_2071Accompanied by skillful Garifuna drumming, the dance adopts the disguise that the Garifuna warriors utilized as a strategic defense against the British. Dressed as women, the male warriors took the troops by surprise. In the Wanaragua, the dancers are always male. The brightly colored Wanaragua costume is made of the attractive wababa (a crown of colorful paper, flowers, mirrors, and tall colorful feathers), painted face mask (depicting the features of a Caucasian male), a long-sleeved white shirt, white gloves, knee length black pants or skirt, stockings, and black or white shoes. Green, pink or black ribbons criss-cross the chest and wrap the waist, and tiny shells are strung to the knees.

Photo courtesy Maya Island Air

Photo courtesy Maya Island Air

Typically, dancers move from one location to the other visiting, entertaining and celebrating. There are even Wanaragua Competitions such as this one. The holiday celebrations typically run from Christmas Eve on December 24 (holidays are December 25 and 26), through to New Year’s Eve celebrations (the holiday is on January 1), and culminate on January 6 with the “Dia de Los Reyes”.

A Southern Belize vacation is a good idea any time of year, but in December, guests have the added benefit of being together with their families and experiencing the local festivities and traditions of Christmas. The services and amenities at Villa Verano are second to none in Hopkins, with luxurious beachfront accommodations ideal for individuals, couples or families. Our packages are all custom-designed to suit specific needs, and are 10% OFF through February 2017. Book now! Villa Verano…your luxurious home away from home for the holidays.

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