Belize Unites to Celebrate Independence
On September 21, 2018 Belize will celebrate their 37th anniversary of independence. This day commemorates when the nation was granted independent status by Great Britain in 1981. Celebrations run from 'St Georges Caye Day' on September 10th right up until Independence Day, on September 21st. During this time, Belizeans and tourists alike partake in prideful flag waving, display of colorful patriotic decorations, numerous vibrant parades, lively singing and dancing, carnivals, and indulgence in tasty feasts of local Belizean cuisine. There are also official flag raising ceremonies and more solemn observances, along with educational events on Belize's history and culture. The celebrating continues for much of the month and is known collectively as "The September Celebrations."
Stay and Play This Independence Day
September is a great time to venture to Belize. Tourism is still in the lower season so great group rate discounts and other specials are plentiful. Diving is desirable year round and at this time of the year can be coupled with other cultural excursions or just a little R&R.
A Brief History of BelizeEuropean colonists first arrived in the area in the 1500s and clashed with the surviving remnants of the ancient Maya Empire. Early attempts by Spain to formally annex Belize were hampered by strong resistance from the Maya. English buccaneers later gained a foothold on the coast region, using the area to launch attacks on treasure-laden Spanish ships from Panama and Venezuela. By the early 1700s, English settlers known as "Baymen" established a presence in Belize, logging the valuable hardwood for export back to Europe. Today, the Belize flag features a stylized English "Bayman" logger in recognition of this part of the country's history. Although the Spanish initially tolerated the presence of English settlers in the area, things came to a head in 1786 when the British government appointed an administrator to oversee the region. After several years of clashes, the British gained full dominance over the region following a decisive naval battle off the coast of St. George's Caye on September 10, 1798, a date now celebrated as a national holiday in Belize. In 1862, Britain formally annexed the area, naming it British Honduras (after the Bay of Honduras, not the modern-day country of Honduras). In 1954, constitutional reforms were enacted and a constitution was written. In 1964, Britain awarded the colony self-rule and George Price became the colony's first premier. In 1973, the colony was renamed Belize and the country was granted full independence in 1981.