Belize Culture and Traditions
Customs and traditions
It can be difficult to put your finger on what is characteristic of people living in Belize, where four people groups live on a small area. But as in many other Caribbean countries that liberated themselves from Britain in the 1960s, a strong nationalist movement grew in the years before. According to Abbreviationfinder, the Belizians share a pride in the Jewel, which they call their homeland.
The nationalist movement was characterized by the Mestis, and in urban areas in particular there is a relatively visible ethnic hierarchy with Garifuna and descendants of the Mayan people at the bottom.
Conversations among creoles and garífauna are often accompanied by gestures and wide movements with arms and hands. The fertilizers are a bit more reserved, but like the people of other Central America, Belizians often use their hands in conversations.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Belize, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
People passing each other on the street greet with a good day or good evening, depending on the time, or just with a light head nod. At a first meeting, you greet each other by taking care. People who know each other a little better can also pat each other easily on the shoulder or back. Good friends hug easily and give each other a quick cheek kiss. Only close acquaintances greet each other with first names.
Avoid staring at people. It is considered very rude.
Time is a relative concept. Do not expect meetings to start at the appointed time, but rather everything from a quarter to an hour later.
It is rarely expected, but it can be good to bring a small gift, like something sweet to chew on, when you are invited home to someone else. The host is expected to serve something to drink. When you knock at someone’s home it often happens that you speak loudly to the person you are looking for and do not step in until the person has opened the door and come out.
Beans, corn, rice and various wheat dishes along with chicken belong to the everyday food. At the coast, creoles and garíuna populations eat a lot of fish, often cooked or stewed in coconut milk. Tamales, corn pulp cooked wrapped in banana leaves, are also common. Among creoles, dinner is often called “tea”.
Belize’s clothing styles are as numerous as the various peoples and immigrant groups, but in general many dress up as in the United States, Europe and neighboring countries.
Traditions and holidays
September is an important month in Belize. On September 10, the commemoration of the Battle of Saint George’s Reef in 1798 is celebrated when carpenters and black slaves resisted a Spanish invasion force. The battle led to Spain giving up its demands on Belize. When the fighting went on for a week, the memory of the event is often celebrated for a whole week, but only on September 10 is a free day.
Eleven days later, on September 21, Belize officially celebrates Independence Day, which is why many people take the opportunity to celebrate the release on several occasions in September. It was not until September 21, 1981, that Belize became fully independent and therefore September 10 long served as a national day.
On October 12, Christofer Columbus’s arrival in America is celebrated in America in 1492. Christmas and New Year are celebrated in the American way on December 25 and December 31, respectively, with Christmas decorations, Christmas presents, finer meals, parties and fireworks. Local variations occur depending on the traditions of the various ethnic groups.
According to Countryaah, Easter week is important and celebrated with religious parades. International Labor Day May 1 is free and often involves manifestations.