Carnival in Placencia! Belize’s 41st Independence Day Celebrations

Yesterday was Independence Day in Belize – September 21, 2022, – and Belize turned 41 years old. And what a party it was, the main event being a carnival parade.

If you’ve been to this tiny country you know that Belizeans are so proud of where they were born, but it really shines through on the 21st of September.

It started at midnight with fireworks and the raising of the Belizean flag at the pointe.

Independence day Fireworks

At about 4:45 am, I was awoken by music and cheering. When I looked out of my bathroom window (it’s the only one facing the road), I saw people covered in mud, chocolate and paint, walking, running, dancing and driving through the streets playing music, singing and cheering. I realized that this must be J’ouvert.

jouvert in belize

J’ouvert is a large street party during Carnival and is held every year in September in Belize. According to Wikipedia, J’ouvert is a contraction of the French jour ouvert, or dawn/day break.

There were celebrations all over the village. At about 10:30 am we went to a house across the road from us where this lovely catamaran is moored

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and where things were already under way and people were sipping things like bloody mary’s and vodka and orange to name a few.

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and there was a wonderful array of appetizers to choose from

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At around 1:30 pm, we made our way back to our apartments where my neighbour had put together a lovely spread. We ate some more and drank some more and enjoyed each other’s company until we could hear the parade coming down the road. We moved to the chairs we’d set up in the front of our building. By this time it was about 32 deg. C with a humidity of 100%. Yikes!

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Nevertheless, we braved the heat. Even Lucy came out

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The energy was infectious and soon we were all up and dancing as the parade came by

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After 3 years of celebration cancellations, the happy faces say it all

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Pure joy – hours and hours of work with glue guns around the village

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Everyone was having a good time

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After it was over, we all went back to our respective parties and continued the celebrations.


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